Life on the Farm Day 4: Harvest Time
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38, ESV)
I have to admit, harvest is actually my least favorite season of farm life. It’s so busy. Ben works early mornings and late nights, and oftentimes I feel like a single mom trying to keep it all together. He’s tired at the end of the day, I’m tired at the end of the day, the kids are crazy, and the season seems to go on for 62 months. It’s exhausting. But at the same time, it’s also rewarding. All of Ben’s hard work from plowing the ground, planting the seeds and caring for the plants pays off. The harvest is certainly plentiful and requires many workers to get all the crops in before winter arrives. There are combine drivers, grain cart drivers, truck drivers, tractor drivers, and workers unloading the crops. Everyone has an important and necessary role, even though they are all very different and require different skills. And while my role of simply delivering food to these workers may seem a little insignificant, they would all get pretty “hangry” if it weren’t for me.
Before Jesus went back to heaven, He gave some pretty specific instructions: “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). I don’t know about you, but sometimes my role in that task can seem pretty insignificant. I am not a full-time preacher or missionary. I’m not working at a job that puts me in contact with new people all the time. I’m a stay-at-home mom keeping 4 mouths fed, dressed, and somewhat clean. But guess what? God has a special role for me in that task. He doesn’t expect all of us to become preachers and missionaries to foreign lands. He does, however, expect us to do what we can, where we are, with what we have. Right now, I am at home with 4 kids and I can certainly teach them about God’s love. I can also pray earnestly for those who do labor for the Lord full time. Just as the harvesting of crops requires many workers doing many different jobs, spreading the message of God’s hope can be done by people in all walks of life. If there is one thing that our world needs right now, it is to see and hear a message of hope.
Remember the rich farmer in Luke 12? He harvested a wonderful crop, so much so that it filled his barns and he needed to build bigger ones. He thought he was set for life and was prepared to sit back and relax. But he neglected to take care of his soul. His treasure was on things on earth, and not on things above. During our physical harvest season, the crops are being harvested for personal gain. But in the spiritual harvest season, which isn’t confined to the months of September–November, the harvest is the pathway of reaping for heavenly gain. The harvest is full of souls who need to hear about eternal hope.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, we see Him seizing the opportunity to harvest. Every moment mattered because He knew every person mattered. In a time when we seem to be confronted with fear, lies, anxiety, uncertainty and loss, many people are seeking ways to find true joy, peace, comfort and safety. We are the harvesters, and we get to participate in God being glorified in the darkest of days. Whatever season of life you are in, find ways to harvest for Him.