John 4:35b "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."
The days are getting shorter and colder. I was standing looking out our back door the other day, nursing a hot cup of coffee and looking out at our garden.
I had mixed thoughts about it. We had planted a fine garden this year, but due to my schedule, we weren't able to tend it like it needed, and our yield wasn't so great.
I was musing over the thought that I need two or three more of me. Then chuckled because I know me, if I had two or three more of me, I would create two or three more times work or projects.
Our potatoes and onions are still in the ground, and I will dig them shortly. I am curious to see how much our harvest will be. The early morning frost tells me to start planning, my schedule says, "when do you have the time?"
Fall is harvest time, we all know that, it is the fruit of our labors at least in the garden sense.
Jesus was telling his disciples not to look upon the fields and think they had plenty of time yet to harvest, but they were ready now, right now. Of course, while He was using the analogy of harvesting a crop, Jesus was talking about the harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God.
In the book of Matthew, it says in chapter 9 that Jesus went into the cities and villages and saw the people having little to no hope and was moved with compassion. Then, he says these words to his disciples, "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." Verses 37, 38. They were like sheep with no shepherd.
Well, my garden needed tending throughout the year, and now it needs to be harvested. My yield will show just how much care I gave it. The more care, the more work I put into it, the better the yield. I believe time is short.
When will Jesus return? I don't know, but rather than wait until the last minute, I am preparing now. There is so much to be done, and like the disciples, I could very easily wonder, how am I supposed to get it all done. The fact is, I'm not. I am to do my part, and part of doing my part is to pray for helpers, like Jesus told the disciples to do.
These times we live in can be so confusing. But, I have Jesus that I can go to in my hour of need or my hour of despair. He is the comforter of my soul. He is near at hand to ALL who will call upon him. Whatever your need is, He is near at hand.
In the spring of the year, the time of refreshing, we planted our seeds. Now, in the fall of the year, it's time to harvest. So, out to the garden I go with my potato fork and shovel, and I will see the fruits of my labor.
But, I also know another harvest, a different kind of harvest, is drawing near. No matter the time of the physical year, you can sow the seeds of your life into the rich fertile soil of God's Kingdom and Jesus will take hold. Then, as you begin to grow in Christ, you don't have to wait until the fall of the year (spiritually speaking). You begin to harvest the fruits of your growth almost immediately. And when you need help, the body of Christ is right there to help you grow.
Yes, there is so much to do, SO pray for laborers to help. The fields are white already to harvest.
Ron Hemphill is the pastor at New Life Bible Chapel. He can be reached at 541-447-6543.