the process for the promise.
The bible talks a lot about sowing seed and reaping the harvest. I love every bit of it, but I don’t want to miss what lies between. I don’t want to miss the process. Have you ever planted a seed and seen it sprout up right then and there?
I wish we could. But what God’s design tells me is there’s a process to be endured. And beyond that, it tells me it’s hidden. Deep in the soil, where roots are formed and seeds are nurtured by nutrient rich soil before a public debut.
I’m sure you see what I’m getting at. There’s a process to be endured. I’ve found myself deep in this dark, hidden soil. These days have been formative. I remember about a year ago Jesus so clearly whispering to me, “My child, you have nothing to prove and nothing to fear.”
The words fell so heavy on my spirit. I knew of their truth, because I trust God’s word, but He was about to actionably teach me. It was a catalytic moment, one that ushered me forward into what would be a quiet, hidden, and formative season deep within His soil like I have never anticipated. God would move me from friends. From the city I called home. From an urban, busy, distracting environment. He would place me on 15 acres, in complete solitude with little community.
Never would I ever choose that. And that’s what’s so funny about God - He gives us what we couldn’t think of, wouldn’t choose, and aren’t seeking just so He can get a little extra glory along the way. He is so jealous for that kind of glory.
So there I was. 15 acres, deafening quiet, unfamiliar stillness. And Jesus met me so powerfully. He stepped in. He started teaching me all about old wineskins. How they’re cracked and worn. How they’re not fit to hold the new wine Jesus wants to pour out. And He wants to pour out the best wine. But He’s not going to pour it in the old, even though we want Him to, He wont do it. He knows better. He knows the old must be made new. Souls must be transformed and positioned to receive before blessing may be poured out in its fullness.
“Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17.
You see God does not just seek to preserve our souls and lives, He seeks to bless us abundantly as He pours new wine in us. But boy have I come to learn the old to new wineskin process is not for the faint of heart. His Spirit is invasive. His love demanding and jealous. His pursuit visibly relentless.
Every single day, He had me opening new wounds. Visiting old hurts. Confronting fears. Breaking down walls. Coming face to face with my convictions. Claiming truer, richer dreams. His Spirit is so thorough. So intricate. I tear up just typing that word, “intricate.” I didn’t and don’t feel worthy of His loving intricacies. They’re powerful yet gentle. I endlessly feel handled yet held with care.
I have a prayer spot I’ve learned to run to. It’s my equivalent to His arms. And oh how He meets me. He has recounted memories that left painful marks. He has held my hand contending for my fleshly, vulnerable, open heart. He has laughed with me as I recounted moments of pride or self reliance I refused to lean on or let Him into. He has confronted my fears by showing me His vastness. He has comforted me by telling me stories of the things He will do for me. He has spoken promise after promise over my life. The time has been holy. The physical space sacred. The season completely transformative.
I’d venture to state this season has been the most transformative of my 26 years. It would be more exciting to attest my transformation to some exciting adventure He’s taken me on, but they’re second best to this quiet season spent resting in His arms. And the best part is, I don’t have monumental successes to share. I haven’t won any awards since my relocation 7 months ago. I haven’t marked any checkmarks next to the dreams I’ve written on paper. And publicly, I’ve probably remained quite the mystery. The girl who stopped hustling and got eerily quiet socially.
I call it the best because a year ago I heard Jesus whisper I had nothing to prove. I heard Him loud and clear, but I wasn’t living it. I was performance driven. I hung my worthiness on successes, achievements, and in moments, public approval. And the worst part - I wasn’t actively living in His rest, so I wasn’t fully receiving His love or that of those who love me. I’ve come to learn when we run by our own account, we tire in our own strength. It lends to bitterness and burnout, not grace and sustaining love. And I don’t want any of it. And I definitely don’t want any glory.
You see, I’ve learned there’s a process. Between the sowing and the harvest, there is a holy process to endure. Its formative for all growth, vibrancy, health, and sustaining beauty. And we’re secondary to its eternal purposes. How amazing is that? I breathe deep remembering this whole thing has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with His faithfulness for His glory and His people. And I personally want the fullness of His miracle, and I’m willing to do what it takes. Because when it comes time to reap the harvest, I unashamedly want the best, most beautiful harvest known to man. But we have to be willing to go deep in the soil. We have to be willing to root ourselves. We have to deem ourselves worthy of the nutrients His Spirit is longing to breath into us in the hidden place. And, in faith, we must position ourselves to receive what will be a plentiful harvest.
Gods word declares:
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” (Isaiah 54:2, emphasis mine)
I love these words. They are words of pure faith. Words we might declare when we’re still deep in the soil. Words to declare in faith of the promise while we're still enduring the process. Words of expectancy, expanding our scope and making room for God to move. Words demanding we go wider and deeper to make room for a plentiful harvest, one that’s not even visible yet. How backwards! The way God loves it, because impossible matters are miracles. And miracles point to God alone. And I believe so deeply in His miracles. I unashamedly believe and will contend for them all the days of my life. Because I no longer see any other option. I crave nothing less than a posture of faith. A holy expectancy of what will be plentiful. I crave what is simply bold faith.
And God honors the bold ones. The crazy ones claiming the promise while they’re deep in the process. Think of how crazy people thought Noah was. I think he’s crazy just thinking about him honestly. But isn’t this the very definition of faith after all? Claiming the promise before we see it?
“For we walk by faith, not by sight (living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in Gods promises).” 2 corinthians 5:7.
In so many areas of my life, I’m still in the soil. I’m still contending for promises in this holy process. But deep in this soil, I have learned about sustaining love, soulful rest, and an abundance of grace for myself and others like I’ve never before known. I’ve done away with performance and reclaimed my worthiness in identity, not works. And I wouldn’t trade any part of it, for I’ve fallen deep in love with the hidden place in this nutrient rich soul. And I want the fullness of the promise. So I’m in deep. Enduring the process, contending for the harvest.
And oh it will be plentiful. I know it.