Tasks For Times

Give ear, and hear my voice; give attention, and hear my speech. Does he who plows for sowing plow continually? Does he continually open and harrow his ground? When he has leveled its surface, does he not scatter dill, sow cumin, and put in wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and emmer as the border? For he is rightly instructed; his God teaches him. Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod. Does one crush grain for bread? No, he does not thresh it forever; when he drives his cart wheel over it with his horses, he does not crush it. This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.” Isaiah 28:23-29

With divine imagination, God created the world and planted a variety of vegetation for the culinary and visual delight of His crowning glory, man. But there is more to this passage than lessons on planting and harvesting herbs and grains. Isaiah uses familiar concepts to teach that God has never intended for us to live in a rut, become too comfortable in one place, doing one thing. While we may be creatures of habit, we were also made to grow, to learn continually, to use the gifts He has bestowed but might be lying dormant, to be flexible as we seek Him to be about His plans, not ours.

The Lord made us to be an integral part of His kingdom, and we each offer our distinct flavor as we exercise the talents and senses and minds He has uniquely fashioned for us, for our setting, within our communities. But we are never to become stubborn and too set in our ways. A certain crop may flourish in one season, and He calls upon another to peak at the next. What I do this year may bear fruit consistently through the years, but I must never say He cannot open new fields for sowing seed and personal growth. We can be certain He will always grant specific wisdom and understanding and the will to exercise our purpose in His might and skill. (Genesis 1:11-13; Ephesians 2:10)

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Am I dedicated to my work? Am I patient when growth and readiness are slow? How willing am I to be crushed, threshed, stretched in new areas of knowledge or experience, to be sown in fresh fields and relationships? Do I decline invitations to explore new avenues of work, learn new skills, try activities that require courage in order not to rock my life boat? Do I choose lethargy on my comfort couch, or schedule only from my easy chair, over making myself available for new or different service to others, saying yes to present opportunities?

Lord on high, may I give ready attention to Your wonderful counsel in my work. Keep me adaptable and willing. Develop in me Your gifts, and produce the desire and boldness to do all You designed me to do, according to Your good pleasure.

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