My four year old moves the rocking chair in the living room back and forth. With her legs too short to reach the floor and swaying in rhythm, she looks like she’s swinging more than rocking.
“When will I be grown up?” She calls into the adjoining kitchen.
As I do my domestic dance–my preferred way of describing walking countless times around the kitchen as I prepare a meal–I hesitate before giving a glib answer.
In that pause God whispers to my heart, “This is the question you’ve been asking me.”
I look at my daughter in her pink tiara, several layers of shirts and dresses and neon blue and yellow striped socks. A lump forms in my throat. I enjoy her being four–innocent yet smart, sweet yet stubborn. But she wants to grow up.
“It takes years to grow up, Honey. You’re a little more grown up today than yesterday, and tomorrow you’ll grow a little more.”
She stops rocking and stares at me.
“But if you’re wanting a specific time, you are considered an adult when you’re 18. That’s when you can vote and join the army.” (I have no idea why I tell her about enlisting in the military, but there you go.)
“Okay,” she says, and then in typical Princess fashion twirls away onto something else.
Meanwhile, I return to my domestic dance so we can eat lunch soon. The daily grind goes on, and I struggle to accept it. I swallow down tears and confusion.
God, when will I grow up? A simple response whispers in my spirit. Two scriptures:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
A harvest. Sheaves. (Umm, what exactly, God?)
1. a crop or yield of one growing season.
One lifetime? My lifetime?
2. a supply of anything gathered at maturity and stored: a harvest of wheat.
Okay, not until the crop is ready. That makes sense.
3. the result or consequence of any act, process, or event: The journey yielded a harvest of wonderful memories.
Definitely in this case a process. God said in Galatians to not grow weary. Anyone can hang in to see how one act or one event in life will turn out. God asks us to wait and see what the process will produce.
Sheaves, plural of Sheaf
1. one of the bundles in which cereal plants, as wheat, rye, etc., are bound after reaping.
2. any bundle, cluster, or collection: a sheaf of papers.
Okay, now I’m getting excited. So God promises not just one shaft of wheat, and not even just one sheaf, but bundles of bundles?! Yes, sow those tears, and God promises loads of joy in return.
I might know 12 people like that–full of joy, living in the reality of Christ day-by-day. Most people, even Christians, are polite, superficially nice. Some are grumpy, bitter, cynical, in denial, or simply shut down. “Do you want to grow up?” I hear the Spirit inquire. Yes. Yes I do.
As much as I love my daughter at four, I cannot wait to see the young woman she will be in 20 years. With a smile, I imagine my heavenly Daddy saying something similar about me. A little more deeply I trust His goodness and believe the harvest will come in the right time. For today I think I’ll go swing in the rocker.