George MacDonald: Learn these two things

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“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:9b-11

“Learn these two things: never be discouraged because good things get on so slowly here, and never fail daily to do that good which lies next to your hand. Do not be in a hurry, but be diligent. Enter into the sublime patience of the Lord. Be charitable in view of it. God can afford to wait; why cannot we, since we have Him to fall back upon? Let patience have her perfect work, and bring forth her celestial fruits. Trust to God to weave your little thread into a web, though the patterns show it not yet.

George MacDonald in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers, compiled by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert (New York: Wilbur B. Ketcham, 1895) 122.

MacDonald’s advice helps us stay the course. In life, good things just don’t get on as fast as we would like. In response, we must not be discouraged, and we must remain diligent. In the words of Isaiah, we must spend ourselves in doing good and in time, God will produce a well-watered garden through our lives.

I don’t know where you find yourself today but I am preparing for the first-ever GTP global gathering of 27 men and women from 15 countries. MacDonald’s wisdom spoke to me, as our progress is slow but sure. I often say that we are planting acorns for the oak trees of tomorrow. We must not get discouraged but remain diligent.

If God has you spending yourself on something that may take a long time to get on, don’t be discouraged. Stay the course. Give yourself and the resources God has supplied to that good work. In time you will see fruit. Our generous God is watching and working out something beautiful through your diligence.