November 17, 2017

Pastoral Nuggets: God Doesn’t Always Close His Accounts in October

Brother-Aaron-236x300There once was a Christian newspaper editor who made it a point to use the format the newspaper afforded him to uplift Christianity and the good things associated with it. He once wrote an article telling his readers how much “richer” they would be if they followed the way of Jesus.

A cotton farmer, who hated anything associated with Christianity, read the article. Infuriated by it, he tore it out and kept it. As the crops were gathered in October, he noticed the crop of a Christian farmer was significantly smaller than his.

He sent the article he had torn out back to the editor with a note that read,“It is the end of October, all the crops are in, all the accounts are settled, and I did significantly better that the Christian farmer. You and your God are stupid and silly.”

The editor printed the reply the farmer had written to his article. However, at the end of the article he added a postscript that simply read, “God doesn’t close His accounts in October.”

What a poignant reminder!  Somehow we seem to think if we believe right, act right, and do right, that God is somehow obligated to reward us accordingly – and on the timetable we deem appropriate. The only problem with this way of thinking is – it just ain’t so!  God doesn’t always operate on our timeline!

For as long as he was able, my daddy had a garden. He loved having one and it helped feed us!  I can distinctly remember how those garden spots were laid out. We would have bunch beans in one spot, peas in another, okra in another, squash in another, tomatoes in another, pole beans in another, and corn at the bottom of the field.

Occasionally, daddy would switch up where he planted things. His logic was that the crops had to be rotated to keep from depleting the soil of its nutrients.

When the crop would come in that year, it wasn’t uncommon to see a stalk or two of corn growing in the pea patch, or a stalk of okra with the peas. Daddy called these plants,  “Volunteer Plants.” He called them that because they just volunteered to come up.

Reality is that they were seeds that somehow failed to germinate the year before, and for whatever the reason, this year they germinated and began to grow. They were both an unplanned and unexpected blessing.

Sometimes, this is how God chooses to work.  In years past, we faithful planted, worked, and harvested the crops.  But somehow, for whatever the reason, some of the seeds didn’t germinate.

Then, when we are no longer expecting them to do so, they germinate, take root, and begin to produce. I’m thankful, as the editor said, “God doesn’t close His accounts in October.”

Perhaps someone reading this article today would say to me, “Brother Aaron, I’m like the Christian farmer in this story. I have been faithful to God. I have done what was right. I haven’t neglected the crop I planted, but my crop hasn’t come in as bountiful as my non-believing neighbors crops.

Why is God punishing me?” The truth of the matter is that He probably isn’t punishing you. He’s just teaching you that He doesn’t close His accounts in October. And that He will send “volunteer blessings,”that you were neither planning on or expecting, into your life to bless you.

I encourage you today not to base your happiness upon how you think God is blessing your faithfulness to Him in the light of what you see Him doing in the life of those who aren’t as faithful to His cause as you, or perhaps who are total non-believers.

Base your happiness upon the fact that you are His child and that you know He will never leave you or forsake you. You know that when you need it, God will provide.

What a wonderful thought: God doesn’t close His accounts in October.

 

Brother Aaron

 

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