God didn't have to, but he did.

I spent so many years in a sowing season, that sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the blessings of my current harvest season. When my sowing season felt like it would never end, I put a lot of hope in a future possibility of harvest. But what I've found is that harvest seasons aren't about sitting back and letting the blessings flow in. In fact, harvest season requires the most work of all. The diligence to keep working hard on something you've been working hard on for so long.  The harvest is an exciting, worshipful time, but it's also a time of rooting out the weeds that had crept in as the plants blossomed. Harvest time requires even more of the faith and obedience that was built during the sowing season. 

But here's the trickiest part of a harvest season: not focusing on the harvest, but delighting in the one who took that small seed of faithful work from practically insignificant to real fruit.

As I delight in how God is bringing about harvest in my life, I've developed a refrain to keep my heart focused on the best treasure of all: God didn't have to, but he did.

God didn't have to change my motherhood season from the utter exhaustion of the endless needs of my three boys in three years to watching my sons grow together in brotherhood and their ability to play together for hours without my help--BUT HE DID.

God didn't have to change Unsupermommy from a book I planned to self-publish and hopefully sell a couple hundred copies to close friends to a traditionally-published book that women in Australia, Nigeria, and South Africa are reading--BUT HE DID.

When God said no to my daughter-desire, he didn't have to give me the gift of living next door to my mom--BUT HE DID.

When I prayed for more friends, God didn't have to respond with renewed relationships with sisters, new relationships with writer-women around the country, and new friends at church--BUT HE DID.

I didn't deserve any of these gifts, but he gave them to me. But don't miss this part, dear one, don't miss this:

Not one of these good blessings is the point. Not one of these good blessings makes the hard work of sowing and harvest worthwhile. Not one of these good blessings will ever satisfy the depths of the longing in my soul.

Because what my soul needs is the foundational, primary, and essential He didn't have to, but he did, the very one that saves my soul, sanctifies my soul, satisfies my soul, and will one day glorify my soul.

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:4-8

Jesus. God sent his only son (mommies, let's get a little weepy over that). His only son. To die for me, a terrible, unrepentant, wandering sinner. That I might not be satisfied with the any of the awesome blessings of this world, but that I might find soul-satisfaction in the beauty of this amazing love, this undeserved grace, this unexpected mercy.

HE DIDN'T HAVE TO DIE TO SAVE ME, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE FOR ME HE DID.

This is why I must faithfully, obediently sow what little I have. This is why I must work hard even in the harvest. This is why the glory for the harvest is all his. This is why, amid all of his good blessings, he is the best. It all flows from him and points to him.

Praise God, he didn't have to save unimportant, unrighteous me, but oh for the glory of his great name, HE DID.