It’s been almost one full year (a full cycle of four seasons) since I shared a post entitled, “A Time To Diversify“. I’ll let you go back and read that post if you’d like, but the main essence of the message was that of diversifying our sources of income, diversifying our giving, and diversifying our growing – in other words, learning in different environments and from different (reputable) sources.
“Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you. 2 But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.” Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 NLT
Just this week, this message has been coming back to me, though with an added emphasis. I get the sense that it is being spoken again because the window of time is still open [for those who have ears to hear.] The seed of this word needs to be planted…again. It needs to be watered…again. And this time, I get the sense that some of us need to hear: it’s time for you to take the risk.
2 Corinthians 9 tells us God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. Some of what God provides for us is seed (meant to yield a harvest for later), and some of what He gives us is bread (meant for consumption and nourishment in the “now”). Stewardship requires that we know the difference. With everything that is placed in our care, with every new business or creative idea we get, we must ask ourselves: what is for now (consumption & nourishment & sharing) and what is for later (wise investment)?
But there’s a third element of good stewardship: RISK.
Notice again the verse in Ecclesiastes I shared above. “Send your grain across the seas.” It’s so counterintuitive, isn’t it? In order to plant for return, grain is not planted in water, it’s planted in the earth. So sending our grain across the seas represents those areas where we must take risk. It’s where we exercise another level of faith and hope where we just don’t know how it will turn out.
Here’s what I felt drop in my heart this week – some of us are not seeing the full benefit of return because we’re not willing to take RISK. We’re playing it so very safe.
And I get a strong feeling that there are many of you who have new business ideas in your hearts, new creative ventures you want to take on – some of you have been feeling a move coming around – it’s time for you to GO – but you’re not even willing to “turn and see” or take the risk. I want to encourage you today – turn towards that thing. You see “the burning bush”, now take the first step in that direction to go check it out! At least entertain the idea! If you’re afraid, (that doesn’t disqualify you by the way) take your little seed – your faith the size of a mustard seed – and come to God with it and ask Him to give you courage. Ask Him to give you wisdom in how to move forward. Stop saying, “I can’t” and start asking “God, How?” The conditions are never going to be perfect. You may have to do it while clouds are still lurking. Do it anyway.
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.” Ecclesiastes 11:4-5 NLT
With each step of obedience, you will get revelation of the next step. Like doors opening before us, we don’t get to see what’s behind “door number three” until we walk through door number one and two. But here’s what I know about the nature of our God: His plans towards us are good. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give us a future and a hope. And when we’re at least willing to exercise our faith to a new level, we will step into an entirely new realm in our relationship with God.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT
And here’s what I see if we fast-forward. There are multiple streams God has for us:
Streams of investment (seed that we plant for the future)
Streams of nourishment (bread that we enjoy and share for the now)
Streams of risk (seed that we cast upon the waters)
If we will just be faith-full with them, in due time, we will see that those streams – when they come together – will produce mighty rivers.
Thanks for reading, friends. I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. And to Him be all the glory for ever and ever.
-Linda G. Riddle