As always, it’s been a while. Life has been crazy, but so fun! My life really is one big adventure! A few quick facts about what has been going on.
1. I went on a mission trip over spring break called “Awaken” with my wicked awesome college ministry…I have never been more convinced of the goodness of God.
2. I am coming to the end of my college career..I graduate in like a month or so!
3. I finally know what I am doing after college! I am doing this discipleship school at my church in waco and I AM SO EXCITED!
4. I am going to Northwest Africa this summer!!! YIP YIP!
With those facts, I am going to make them all connect to what this post really is all about. Over the past year and a half, God has been making me a farmer. That may sound weird, but its true. I’ve been learning how to sow, and more recently, how to reap.
A farmer is a hard worker–his livelihood depends on how hard he works..because if a farmer doesn’t work, he doesn’t get to experience the fruit to receive an income. When a farmer starts his crop season, he goes out in the blazing sun and “sows.” To sow means to scatter seed. Literally, throw seeds on the ground. No fruit. No income. No results. Just some seeds on the ground…if you are a farmer and don’t know that in a few months there will be fruit, income, and results, you may feel like your efforts are wasted and throw your hands up in the air in frustration because you are hot, sweaty, and tired…and YOU HAVE SEEN ZERO RESULTS.
But lets say that you didn’t give up. Lets say you waited patiently for a few months and you took care of your crops and watched them grow…you began to realize there was purpose in the process of growing up your seeds. Lets say that your plants grew well and you began realizing that if you had given up when you first threw those seeds you would have missed out on a fortune! Lets continue this idea to say that you walked back into your field to reap your crops. To reap means to gather. You finally got to gather every bit of fruit that grew. That is exciting!
That excitement is what I have been experiencing the last 2 months. I have been in a season of getting to reap abundantly. After about a year and a half of sowing seeds in every aspect of my life & feeling like I didn’t have a whole lot of feedback or results, I was on the verge of giving up. Tears had been shed, a battle had been fought, scars had been earned, and my heart had become weary. Coming into this last semester of my college career I really didn’t care what happened to my life…I just wanted to crawl into my bed and sleep for the rest of my life. I wanted to quit because I just didn’t feel like I was seeing fruit to any of my labor. Jesus continued to love me well in that place. As I would sit in the presence of God feeling insecure and exhausted, God continually made the promise “I will be faithful to you. I see you.” So I pressed on. It wasn’t easy, it was tough. BUT here I am today. Reaping abundantly. I’ve walked through processes of figuring out my future and getting answers, getting to dive deep into community, getting to walk in crazy amounts of intimacy with Jesus, and just feeling like every piece of my life is falling into place.
The other day I felt like God told me: “See Caitlin, saying yes to me is worth it. Carrying your cross is worth it.” It’s so true. Because if I can go on a mission trip over spring break and get to baptize one of the girls I disciple, if I can watch people get free from sins that have held them enslaved for years, if I can watch people give their lives to Jesus….it’s worth it.
So tonight, on Good Friday, I look at the cross that Jesus carried, the cross that Jesus was nailed to, the face of the One who took the sins of the world upon himself, and I am undone. If it wasn’t for this day 2000 years ago, I wouldn’t get to reap abundantly. It’s all because Jesus saw that I was worth it..that He sowed his perfect life upon this earth…all because He loved me enough to give me the opportunity to live freely and fully today.
I have become a farmer.
My crops are favored.
My fruit is good.
Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him.
He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn’t true.
Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.
Out of that terrible travail of soul,
he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
will make many “righteous ones,”
as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
he took up the cause of all the black sheep.