My family and I went on a summer vacation, and one tourist attraction on my list to visit was a coffee farm. We found a locally owned café and coffee farm located on several acres of beautifully lined coffee trees. When I asked if we could have a tour, a friendly barista quickly took off her apron and ushered us passed the buffet of chocolate covered coffee beans and through the backdoor of the shop.
As we entered the wonderful landscape beyond the café, I could instantly smell the sweet aroma of the little white buds that dotted the coffee trees. The barista was surprised by the amount of flowers speckling the green clusters of unripe coffee cherries. The white flowers only bloom for a few days before the fruit appears. Coffee beans are actually not beans at all. Rather, they are the pits of the ripe, red fruit called the cherry that spring up once the flower withers. The red fruit is edible, but these cherries still had a few months left of ripening.
The barista explained many details of the coffee tree, answering all of my kids’ questions and a few of my own. My mind went to the investment involved growing all of the tress, so I asked how long it took until the trees produced their first crop. The young woman answered that it could take the coffee tree up to seven years to produce its first fruit. Wow! That was a long time to wait for an investment to start paying off. But the young woman added that once the coffee tree started growing useable fruit, the tree could produce for up to 100 years.
I thought of the scripture that describes sowing and reaping. We can sow thousands of seeds in a certain field and become impatient when our work brings no fruit. We may be tempted to think that God has been false in His Word, and that the promise of sowing and reaping is untrue. Instead of becoming bitter, however, we need to trust as the café owner must have trusted. He knew that his acres of coffee trees would produce eventually. He simply had to wait year after year for his trees to mature. The wait would be worth it, though. Once his trees produced, they would offer their fruit to him, his kids and his grandkids!
Many times it takes years for our promises to mature. If we have sown according to the Holy Spirit, we will eventually see the fruit. If we sowed generously, we will receive a generous return for our investment. Even though our circumstances suggest that our trees of effort are barren, we must trust that God’s Word stands true. A crop will come out of our obedience. We simply need to rest in God and allow Him to bless our land in His timing, trusting that many generations will be blessed by our faithfulness.
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
2 Corinthians 9.6 NIV