And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 ESV)
Doing good for an extended period of time is plain old tiring. Reaching out to a neighbor again and again takes effort and planning. When you don’t see any fruit it can be frustrating . Taking care of a sick parent can be brutal. I saw my mom honor her dying mom by taking care of her almost every night. It was tiring, exhausting business. Leading a Bible study where attendance is spotty at best and people don’t talk and you feel like you’re rambling for an hour straight can be maddening. And wearying.
My daughter Ella is in what child rearing specialists call the “insane, ripping everything off the walls, then crying and flopping on the floor when I say ‘no’” stage. When I’m home I feel like I’m correcting / disciplining her a thousand times throughout the day. My daughter Charis is in the “it’s my party, I can whine if I want to” stage. It seems like every discussion is me correcting her about whining. And I get so tired of it! Because it seems like nothing is changing! It’s the same thing over and over and over. In the words of Pee Wee Herman, “It’s like you’re trying to unravel a cable knit sweater and someone keeps knitting and knitting.” Will I ever see progress?
Galatians 6:9 encourages me. God encourages us not to grow weary in doing good, and then he promises that we will reap fruit. When will we reap that fruit? In due time. In God’s time. At the right time. It’s possible that the right time will be next week, and your Bible study will be overflowing with people. It’s possible that the right time will be when you inhale your final, ragged breath, and stand before Jesus and hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
But the key is, we Must. Not. Give. Up. By the power of the Holy Spirit, keep going. Keep pressing on. Keep faithfully caring for your aging mom. Keep faithfully leading your Bible study. Keep raising your children in the fear of the Lord. God will reward your faithful labor. It’s not in vain. It’s not a waste of time.
When you’re feeling weary, run to the one who gives rest to the weary soul. Don’t simply give up. Run to the one who gives rest and refreshment, then get back in the trenches. You will see fruit in due time. Keep on going until that time comes.