“Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look upon the fields, for they are white unto harvest.” John 4:35b
This is the week when families will often gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving. I am a city girl now, but it has not always been so. I grew up with grandparents who came from a long line of farmers, men and women who had made their living as stewards of the earth for many generations. As a child I remember endless dinnertime conversations that centered around the weather, what the ubiquitous Farmer’s Almanac had to say, the price of corn or cotton and whether or not the peanut crop, the soybeans, or the okra were “ready.” Harvest time was all-important and determining the correct time to harvest a crop was essential. Too late and the harvest would not be bountiful, too soon and it would not be ripe. Thankfully, my grandparents spent as much time in prayer concerning the time to harvest as they did talking about it amongst themselves and with us. You see, they knew and trusted God to guide their hands every step of the way – from when to plow and when to plant and most especially, when to harvest. And no matter how important the harvest of the crops, my grandparents always knew that the most important harvest had not to do with the land, but with the lives of those around them. Simply put, they believed that it did not matter if the land prospered if there were those in their midst who did not have the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. This desire governed the choices that they made on a daily basis and greatly influenced those around them.
In much the same way, as believers in Jesus Christ, you and I are called to the harvest. We are told in scripture that the day is upon us, that the fields are ripe and ready, but that the workers are few. When harvest time came around each year my grandfather would call his brothers, nephews, neighbors, and friends to come and help him. And Jesus, our brother and the Lord of the Harvest, is calling to you and to me. We must be ready at any time to give an account of the hope that lies within us. It is not enough to look around our table and see the bounty there and think that we can rest. There is another field and another harvest that lies ready and waiting … the harvest of lives who are in need of the saving grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Because someone took the time to feed the hunger of my soul for something more, I am in the kingdom of heaven today. I count my salvation as the greatest gift that I have ever received. As you make ready your home and your hearts for Thanksgiving this year, I encourage you to look for those around you who are hungry and thirsty for something more … it may just be that perhaps the very thing they are seeking is the bread of Eternal Life. God has done and will do the work. You can take Him at His word. The Lord of the Harvest is near.
Mark 4:26-29: “A man scatters seed on the ground,” Jesus observed. “Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
John 10:10: “I am come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”
Luke 10:2: “Therefore he said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray therefore to the Lord of the Harvest that he would send forth the laborers to gather the harvest.”