Recently, I was talking to a young man who was devastated by all the evil in the world. People hurt people, and evil seems to be winning. He wondered if what we do even matters when we don’t see the immediate results that evil seems to get. I empathize with his struggle.
It helps me to remember that God is playing the long game. He could wipe out evil in a moment, but to do so would wipe out those He loves and those His spirit is working with to draw them to Himself. He is patient, realizing there is a process, wanting everyone to come to know Him.
A farmer plants a seed but it doesn’t spring up immediately, ready for harvest. It takes awhile to sprout and continue to grow with water and sunshine. Eventually it’s ready for harvest. That’s the way all of His creation works, including people’s development.
In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus tells about an enemy that plants weeds among a farmer’s wheat. The farmer said “No” when the workers asked to pull up the weeds, for fear that in doing so they would uproot the wheat too. He said to be patient and let them grow together until the harvest, when they could be separated without losing the grain. God has a plan and is not worried.
We can’t see behind the curtain, but God can. When the Devil had Jesus crucified it appeared that he had won, when in actuality he sealed his fate. It was Jesus’ purpose to suffer and die for us. That dark time made it possible for us to experience eternity with Him. Often, what appears on the surface, and in the moment, to be a powerful victory for evil, is thwarted by God for His purposes. That is power. One day He will squash evil out forever, but for now, for the sake of people, He waits patiently for people to turn to Him.
What this means for us
May God comfort us in our sadness at the weeds around us.
May we realize that sometimes the weeds help people turn from their own way to God for help.
May we keep loving people and pointing them to Jesus, leaving the results to God. It may not appear to have any impact, but Galatians 6:9 tells us to not lose heart in doing good but to keep on planting seeds of goodness. In due time we, or even someone else, will see the harvest. Being older, I’ve had many experiences that demonstrate the truth of this idea. People years later find me and tell me about the influence I had on their lives, when, at the time, I never had a clue that what I said or did had any impact.
Let us not doubt in the dark what God has shown us in the light.