Like a seed growing underground

"Trust in the Lord" is a scriptural admonition, as Sierra Neiman points out in this week's Illuminate study of Psalm 37. But "it can feel so trite." Especially when "everything appears hopeless, when time is running out, or when we've lost what has held our joy." And it is hard. Trust requires us to "be still" and to "wait patiently" because, according to Sierra, "God's response might unfold slowly" and God's work is "like a seed growing underground, silently and out of sight."

Barclay Press, like much of the Friends Church, has been through a long period of waiting patiently. Much of this waiting has looked like decline. And even though this week's study focuses on the individual's responsibility to trust, I think this scripture might also be a source of hope for us at Barclay Press and for the larger evangelical Friends movement. What if God has planted and is planting seeds of hope? What if, in this time of waiting, God is preparing us, together, for a time when hope will flower, a time in which we might "delight ... in abundant prosperity," a time when it will be hard to remember why it was so hard to trust?

How We Work: Although our primary products at Barclay Press are the Fruit of the Vine devotional guides and the quarterly Illuminate curriculum, we also publish and sell books. Our busiest bookselling day for all of 2015 was the Tuesday of Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church yearly meeting sessions at George Fox University. And our most popular book was the recently released Making of a Quaker College from Milo C. Ross. Ross served as president of George Fox from 1954 until 1969, and the book presents his reflections on the challenges faced, decisions made, relationships forged, and growth experienced during a time in which it wasn't yet clear whether the university could survive. It's another story in which we can see - looking back - the fruit of God's work, quietly planting seeds of hope.

Eric Muhr