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This is something that always seems to be on my mind: the notion that good things take time.

Rarely do I remember or even recommend a meal that took less than five minutes to prepare. More often than not, you’ll appreciate something you purchased after saving money for a long period of time. It takes a lifetime of preparation for athletes to reach the Olympic stage. Graduating from high school alone takes 13 years, sometimes longer. All of these things take time.

On a much smaller stage, there is one thing, however, that I experience wishing I would have planned better year-after-year. That thing is yard work at my home.

This may seem minor to some, but for two years now, we’ve owned our home, and for two years we’ve worked on our yard and take pride in its appearance. Every year we decide to plant fescue, or shade grass, under a tree in the backyard where grass refuses to grow. And so far, each year we seem to wait too long to get the seed planted to where it will have adequate time to grow.

Each year, I look in the backyard and wish it weren’t muddy or dirty under that tree. I want lush, green grass. The old saying “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” has never rang so true.

It would be great if the grass would just pop up on its own, but with the lack of sunshine the area receives, it’s not a good environment to grow grass naturally like the rest of the backyard does.

This is often how we as Christians look at our relationship with Christ. We cry out in pain when we feel like He’s not hearing us; we complain when His words are hard to discern from the ways of the world. We get angry with God if we’re going through a trial, but have we planted the seed? Or, are we merely looking at the same dirt spot in our spiritual lives and simply wishing grass would grow in that shaded area of our lives?

One would think this goes without saying, but you have to put in the work in order to reap the benefits of your work. However the issue with our backyard and why it keeps the same dirt-filled spot, is because we neglect to give that dirt-filled spot the attention it needs.

It’s not like we have planted seed there year-after-year and have come up short. We did plant seed the first year, then go on vacation for a week, and it died. Since then, the need to plant the seed falls by the wayside in the busyness of our lives until it’s past the point of no return, and we hope to do better next year.

We as Christians do the same with our walk with Christ. I include myself in this statement. When things are going well, the grass is green, and there’s not a dirt patch in site, it can be easy to neglect putting in the hard work in of chasing after God daily.

This is when things start to wither and die, and before we know it, we have a dirt patch in our lives. The life of a Christ follower is not an easy one, or one without its struggles or work put in. This is something you should know by now if you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time.

Yet, we would do ourselves a huge favor if in the times of prosperous, green grass, if we put in the work and toil the soil preparing for the days that the devil tests our faith and rocks our world.

I write this blog this week as much to myself as I do to you, brother or sister in Christ. We should never quit striving to follow hard after our Lord and Savior, doing all we can to follow his straight, but narrow path.

Put in the work now, and later when life’s trials come, we can lie down in green pastures (Psalm 23:2) and rest knowing that He is our Shephard, and we shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)

What have you done this week to prepare for the time when the grass withers and your faith is tested?