“Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in” 1.

The first time I read that verse, it had a real impact on me. I was an idealistic-but-confused 18-year-old student searching for meaning in life. I remember reading it over and over, trying to figure out what it meant. Something seemed hidden, like it was a secret code.

The verse talked about the future, and what I really cared about was the “reaping” part. So, I decided to embrace “doing good.” I dedicated my life to missions, which over the years took me to India, Nepal, and back to Europe to start a humanitarian organization in the war-torn countries of former Yugoslavia.

Another mission I took on was having children. The words “let us not grow weary or become discouraged” became predominant in my life. My carefree years were behind me, and I was engaged in life’s daily struggles. I remember falling apart in tears when my husband came home from work, and I hadn’t even managed to put together a simple dinner. Many years and dinners later, this memory makes me smile, but back then it was such a struggle!

At times I felt like an absolute failure or faced disappointment or loss in the projects I was involved in, like when one project ended abruptly due to political unrest, or when a dear coworker died suddenly due to heart failure right in the middle of an event we were hosting.

But, back to that mysterious Bible verse that I always carried with me, I learned that despite whatever was failing or falling apart in that moment, I was to keep on “doing good.” I simply had to focus on that and not get weary, discouraged, or quit. In fact, so many times, turning away from my sadness and discouragement and getting involved in some needy situation was my salvation.

And what about the “at the proper time we will reap” part? Well, I believe many, if not most, of the results of our efforts will remain unseen in this life. The rewards will come in God’s time. But my kids have grown up, and they’re accomplishing things I never imagined they would. Next year we’ll celebrate the 30th anniversary of the humanitarian organization I helped to found. It has required perseverance and sacrifice to keep it going, but it certainly has been rewarding and many lives have been touched and changed through our activities.

Yes, sooner or later, in one form or another, we will reap!

  1. Galatians 6:9 AMP