The Hard-Work Process of Harvest
February 2, 2024
Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35 NIV
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest. Psalm 126:5-6 NLT
Farmers are among the hardest, most deserving of respect workers in our economy. There is no part of their job that does not require much personal effort, even on days when it’s the last thing they want to do. The entire process requires much faith and hope, from the planting all the way through the days of too much/not enough sun; too much/not enough rain. There are weeds and insects. Frankly, there’s so much of the process over which they have little or no control. They can fertilize and do all the right things, but finally, despite what they can’t control, they do control the first, most major piece – nothing would happen if they didn’t leave their comfy living rooms and plant.
Then there’s much time-consuming follow-up, and difficulties all through the growing season. However, a true farmer comes to the place where doing it all is second nature. The farmer has been at it long enough that he or she knows the human efforts are more than matched by the God who designed the entire process. Not every seed will grow and be healthy, but the harvest will most every time bring tremendous joy and satisfaction. For sure, good things will happen that wouldn’t happen if the farmer had stayed in the house and didn’t plant.
That’s what the Psalmist pictured in Psalm 126. There’s no doubt that planting is challenging and must be intentional. There will be tears as we plant and pray and do the work. But when we do what we can do, God does what we can’t do. He mixes the miraculous “only God” with the intentional “only me” and we have a harvest that brings tremendous joy.
Jesus said the harvest field is ripe and ready – we need to go into the fields and get it! The opportunity to harvest a specific crop doesn’t last forever. I remember various times visiting my Kentucky farming relatives during harvest time. It didn’t matter how much they wanted to relax and take a few days off while we were there, they couldn’t do it. The harvest was too precious. To delay would be to lose it. So, my dad and anyone else who was able would join in to do what they could to bring in the harvest. What joy we had! Eventually there was a picnic and good times. The harvest was in, and we all played a part. Church – let’s leave the building, get the harvest, and prepare for a big celebration party!
- Where do you need to plant? To water and tend? To harvest? DO IT.