"For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations." - Isaiah 61:11
This summer, my friend Pam had this idea that I should get my picture taken in a cornfield in Indiana, with the caption "There's more than corn in Indiana," signifying the work of God going on in Fort Wayne. So ever since I got back, we've been trying to find a good cornfield to do this photo shoot... with some urgency, since the corn is already being harvested.
I woke up this morning to a crisp and cool and sunny autumn day, and I was itching for a breath of fresh air, so Pam and I strolled through the acre-deep backyard of International House. Imagine our surprise when we reached the little community garden where people are growing tomatoes, pumpkins, chile peppers, and - corn! It's photo shoot time!
Sometimes we see the obvious in life and so we are unimpressed and uninspired. When you drive across the wide, flat plains of Indiana, all you see for miles and miles are cornfields. In I-House, you see a bunch of internationals who don't speak English "bery goot," who eat different food, and who don't seem to know how to regulate room temperature on a thermostat. But thank God that he sees more than we see, and that his work is greater than our own! He doesn't see foreigners and strangers, but those he loves and longs to redeem and set free.
While the farmers plant the kernals in the ground, we plant the seeds of good news in the hearts of those we love. While the farmers care for the sprouts and water them and wait, we pray and build relationship and continue in love, trusting that the seeds will grow up and produce a good fruit. Now the farmers look out on their fields and see a great crop that is ready for harvest... and Jesus says that our fields are as such. He sees hearts ready and eager to receive and follow him. When we are uncertain of the effect of the gospel on these hearts, he sees growth. And it will continue to grow - to spring up, in fact, from all nations, to the glory and praise of the Lord!
When you see cornfields, or you eat the harvested corn this year, pray for the people who represent the nations in Fort Wayne. Thank God for the seeds that are growing in their hearts, and ask him to yield a bountiful harvest!