Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food…the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls–yet I will rejoice (ongoing rejoicing) in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18, parenthesis added)
Little or no harvest is disappointing—especially after diligent and persistent sowing.
It is easy to praise and worship God when my fruit basket is full. However, a true test of faith is my willingness to express devotion and adoration to God when harvests are lean.
The Law of Sowing and Reaping
A main premise of Scripture is that you reap what you sow. However, what is my reaction when my “sowing” reaps nothing? How do I respond when prayers for opportunities collide against closed doors? When phone calls and emails are not returned, when rejection letters arrive, when promotions do not happen—do I still rejoice without ceasing? Do I respond like Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”? Is my faith so resolute to approach the fiery furnace as Daniel’s friends did: “Even if God doesn’t bless me, I’ll still be faithful to Him”?
These questions challenge me when my spiritual “fig trees, vines, and olive trees” seemingly yield little fruit. As a writer and speaker, equipping and inspiring people energizes me. When my audiences or readers have “Aha” moments, it fuels my passionate desire as a vessel suitable for my Master’s use.
Yet in a season of no harvest, I question if I’ve missed something. When articles are seen by hundreds but “liked” by few, doubt creeps across my mind. After delivering a passionate message God has revealed results in the audience staring at me like a mule looking at a new gate, uncertainty grips my heart.
But, Habakkuk, Job, and Daniel’s friends beckon me to a deeper walk of faith. Their steadfastness encourages me to be faithful to the gifts, talents, and skills God has specifically given, regardless of the results. After all, God didn’t ask us to produce huge harvests but to faithfully distribute the seed He has given us.
Though the battle is tough, stick to the fight. When the storm clouds gather, grab your deck pillow. Though the harvest seems small, keep rejoicing in the Lord who will one day say, “Well done, faithful servant.”