October 29, 2020
by Ashley Tilghman
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot…”
When our normal routines and activities came to a grinding halt this year, big questions began to arise. What am I doing with my life, with each 24-hour day I am given? Is what I’m doing making an impact in the whole scheme of things? As a Christian pursuing God’s will for my life, am I truly giving Him all that I have?
This pandemic has stretched into eight months with no end in sight, bringing into question so many things once taken for granted. Things like basic social interaction, gathering in groups outside of the home, traveling, school, and so many other activities that were canceled. I was one of the fortunate ones that still had my job in a shaken economy. But in a season of much change, I considered the things that last even through these changing times.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
I concluded that many things in my life are still there—a family who loves me, a great team at work who I can still collaborate with even working from home, a church family who pours into me and prays for needs I face, and friends I can connect with by phone or video chat. And there is God, who I can lean on through the tough times and who promises to never leave me nor forsake me. Besides having the Lord personally involved in each aspect of my life, I have His Word, which speaks truth to me in new ways in different seasons as I look to it for guidance to make sense of life.
I take to heart what I learn in sermons at church or in devotionals from coworkers living in other parts of the world. In working for a nonprofit ministry that seeks to make the Gospel available to everyone in the Middle East and North Africa, I try to keep a long-term perspective. I am amazed every time I learn of one more person in these nations realizing the truth for themselves and deciding to follow Christ, no matter the cost. The kingdom of God is still growing, and it encourages me to know we are working towards building a kingdom that will endure forever.
The Lord’s dominion is an everlasting dominion that will never pass away and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
Working to build the kingdom of God as an end goal may seem a little abstract. But consider fruit and the act of harvesting it as an analogy for God’s kingdom. The fruit we eat undergoes quite a process before it ends up in our hands at the grocery store or farmer’s market. It starts as a seed planted in fertile ground that has been properly tilled and prepared for growth. Then, that tiny seed absorbs water and begins to sprout little by little before gradually poking through the dirt and growing as a vine or tree that will bear fruit in the right season. Tomatoes may grow in six to eight weeks, whereas planting an apple tree may take seven to ten years before seeing the fruit of one’s labor, so to speak.
It is like this with planting the word of God in people as well. Only God knows how many times a person will need to hear His truth before it takes root and leads to a person becoming a new creation in Him. Something to consider as we move into this new season of giving back to our loved ones and to ministries and causes we care about—are you investing in things that will last?
Store up treasure for yourselves in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Time is short, and we have the responsibility to return to the Lord what He is so generous to give us in the first place. Are you investing in kingdom work that will never fade away, in work that will one day bear a bountiful harvest that will endure forever?