13 December 2017

Life & Sole: Time to grow and harvest…

October is, for most of us, the month of harvesting and giving thanks to God. We give thanks for our families, friends, moments of laughter and joy, for our daily bread and for all the blessings from our Lord. But do we give thanks for singleness? Well, that may be the last thing you feel grateful for. I wonder, do we really understand the opportunity for harvest in our singleness? Probably not.

There is a blind spot in our understanding of what harvest means in the context of growing in God during this period of time in our lives. We often see our time of singleness as less fruitful compared to the time of marriage. This rather incorrect view puts even more pressure on those of us who are single. In our eyes it is much easier to see the evidence of the harvest through children, parents, and grandparents. We often easily forget the important fact that singles have a perfect opportunity and time to grow and harvest spiritual fruit.

For this reason, the Church must learn to view singles from a different angle. They must see us as equal and encourage us to study God’s word and to be focused on God. In the Bible it is clearly written that, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2). Therefore, we cannot justify our disobedience or lack of spiritual growth with excuses such as, ‘after I get married…’, ‘after I have a family…’ etc. In this verse we read that there are only two groups of people – those who bear fruit and those who do not. It is not important whether you are single, married, divorced or widowed. God really desires that spiritual fruit will be evident in our lives by its growth. All this requires daily harvesting from His word as a spiritual food. It takes exercise and time, just like anything else that grows.

In this time of being single, and while you wait to see what God has in store for you in terms of a partner, view your singleness as a gift, as an opportunity to grow closer to God without the distractions or compromises of a spouse and family. Use your time wisely and give as much as you can to God. This is not without its complications and challenges. It can be hard, and may even be back-breaking. It is much easier for us to be focused on what we want or we do not have, rather than focusing on the things which God gives us as part of His perfect plan for us right now.

The pressure from friends, family, church, society and even ourselves to be part of a couple is massive. The important thing is to focus on the fact that we have been gifted with the time to grow in the knowledge of God, to know Him on a deeper and more personal level. Therefore, we need to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the one sent by God to help us. Do not try to ‘help’ God to find your partner, rather listen to God and spend more time in meditation, silence and reading of His Word. I am not saying you should stop your joy filled and fun filled lives, I’m just suggesting that you should stop the partner hunting and listen to where God is guiding you. Try to search for God first. Give your time, work, problems, happiness, singleness, and whole life to God, that He may control your past, present and future by the Holy Spirit. Consequently He will grow the spiritual fruits in you. Harvest the fruit of love (agape), joy (chara), peace (eirene), patience (makrothumia), kindness (chrestotes), goodness (agathosune), faithfulness (pistis), gentleness (prautes) and self-control (egkrateia), the spiritual fruit from God. It is hard, but so worthwhile. God knows you, He knows your struggles, weakness and desires. He loves you and He desires you to grow in Him. Therefore HARVEST!

Zuzana Polackova