It was 94 years ago today, on August 18, 1920, that Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote. Thus ended more than 70 years of planning and campaigning on the part of women in an effort to prove that they had every right to vote in the US. Probably the best known advocate of the women’s movement was Susan B. Anthony who founded the National Women Suffrage Association in 1869 – for the express purpose of getting a constitutional amendment on the books guaranteeing this most important right to women.
It took decades for the movement to achieve its goal and even now, in 2014, there are still inequities in our society. Maybe it’s not the vote, but there are other social issues that have still not been widely understood and hammered out, even if they are supposedly protected by law.
The short message about this is that sometimes things worth having are not achieved overnight and while this may be frustrating at the time, the Bible is full of examples when things took quite some time to come to fruition. For example, the people of Israel wandered in the desert for more than 40 years instead of making the journey directly, which would have taken far less time. And when Moses finally died, Joshua was reluctant to cross into the Promised Land even though he had spent years as the understudy to Moses preparing for his big leadership moment. He didn’t do so well until he turned to God and accepted His encouragement.
Come to think of it, the people of God had waited many years for a Messiah. And they thought their king would ride in on a white horse and make quick work of vanquishing the enemy. However, that’s not the way Jesus did things. He came to save the world, not to judge it, at least the first time. Judgment comes next time! And by the way, when is that second coming going to happen? Way back in the early days of the New Testament, people thought that the return of Jesus was imminent. But so far, 2000 years later, it still hasn’t happened.
The verse for this evening highlights the fact that things happen in God’s timing – not ours. We are told that we are to sow and do our jobs – not knowing when the harvest may happen. From Hosea 10:12, “Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.” My encouragement this evening is that God expects us to sow and remain diligent – not knowing when we may expect the harvest. My prayer is that the things that you start on behalf of the Lord will eventually come to fruition and advance the kingdom of God – even if you and I aren’t around to see it. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…