What I noticed as a change in the fields throughout Israel was a sign of obedience.
But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. (Leviticus 25:4)
During my first visit, I saw many lush fields, growing many different crops.
This time, most fields were empty…except, of course, the fruit trees. After all, it’s difficult to tell a tree to stop producing fruit! (I learned there are “ways around” the seventh year rest for those who want to observe the laws yet don’t want to let their trees go a full year without attention.)
I initially missed the beauty of the patchwork fields. Then, I realized I had the opportunity to see another kind of beauty: the beauty of obedience.
Sometimes our lives look desolate and unproductive. We feel wasteful, as if we’re not taking full advantage of what’s around us. We feel idle and unproductive. But action and busyness do not equal growth. Sometimes, stillness is much more productive.
Obedience doesn’t always make sense to us. We want to do things the way that seem logical to us. We rationalize we’re doing it to grow and be productive, and we even infuse God’s name into our efforts, claiming to do it all for Him.
But if He didn’t tell us to do it, our effort cannot be for Him.
How is He directing and instructing you right now? How well are you listening? How well are you responding?
Obedience is beautiful. And, in the long run, it is productive and fruit-bearing.