My grandparents farmed the Missouri hills on a quaint little acreage. One of the tasks I often heard discussed was the rigorous exertion of clearing the land for crops. Trees had to be cut. The worst hassle was pulling the stumps. A team of horses hitched to a double-tree pulled and balked with great struggle as a stubborn stump would relinquish its earthen hold. At last the goal was reached.
When the plows penetrated the tender earth a sweet aroma that maybe only farmers can appreciate lifted from the ground. It was dirt....no roots....no stumps of the past. Crop farming continues on that land although the new owners are basically oblivious to the frustration several took to get the land ready for production.
So it is in the church. In some places all the stumps have been pulled and the work is free to be what it's supposed to be. In other places trees remain in the way and clearing of the grove can cause some to feel progress is being made. Yet, until the stumps are pulled (which will take the greatest work of all) the field will never be a true field.
Here's how I want you to be encouraged today: Regardless of trees or stumps be sure God can create a field yielding great harvest where you are. And, don't be surprised when the Holy Spirit reveals to you that all along it's possible you may have been one of the stumps.