The dividends of the investment are not always direct and immediate.
It’s interesting that the unfaithful servant stated that his fear was born of his understanding that the Lord expected to reap where he had not sowed (v.25). His lord went on in verse 26 to acknowledge the accuracy of that statement. What does it mean to reap where you have not sowed and to gather where you have not strawed?
I’ve often thought about the many unexpected blessings that daily come to me because I have chosen to give my abilities in His service. Sometimes the avenue of opportunity that I see may not be the one the Lord chooses for His greatest glory. I remember a time in my life when I desperately wanted more children. My husband and I went to fertility specialists and spent large sums of money on procedures and drugs to enhance our chances of conception. But it was not to be. Then we proceeded with the process of adoption. We again spent a sum of money, planned for the promised arrival date, and even planned with my doctor about how I could breastfeed this baby girl. Our house was filled with excitement. But again, the plan went awry at the last moment and, again, I was devastated. I just knew that surely the Lord wanted me to raise more kids who would one day be in heaven.
Looking back now, at age 48 (my age at this writing), I see things differently. There have been countless opportunities to reap where I have not sowed. I think of four children who are being raised by godly Christian parents today in the state of Mississippi. I could not raise these children to have a great faith in the Lord, but I was able to be instrumental in teaching their mother the gospel as my teenage daughter got to know them through baby-sitting and my son became their family’s piano teacher and they began to frequently visit my home for these lessons. Their mother and father can raise them to be great in the kingdom. Perhaps if I had been raising that house full of kids that I wanted, I would not have taken the time to study and talk with this young mother every week. Perhaps I would have been raising my kids for Him, but maybe these four precious children would be lost. Sometimes I think about my own two children. While the credit is surely not mine, I am very thankful that, by the grace of God, they walk in the truth. I could never have imagined that my son would be preaching powerful sermons and that my daughter would, through her writing and speaking, be influencing hundreds of young ladies to seek first the kingdom. While, in my younger years, I was just thinking about getting my own children to heaven, but the Lord was planning to reach others through them. I’m so amazed at His ability to multiply the seeds sown and to truly reap through me where I did not sow. His ripple effect is always larger than I could imagine.
Now I pray daily for the seeds of our teaching. I pray that He will take those tiny seeds that we plant when we write and speak and produce a harvest far greater than anything we could imagine. He is the Lord of the harvest and I stand amazed at the places where He can reap.