The Truth About The Harvest

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Harvest is a term used by farmers to describe the end of their growing season when they gather the crops that they planted. This is usually a time of celebration, as they get to see the fruits of their labor and “reap what they have sown.” In order for them to have a harvest they had to sow some seed. Sowing the seed involved planning, preparation, and labor. If a farmer does not put in the work, no harvest will be produced from that growing season.

When we think about our spiritual lives, most seasons we live through are our growing seasons. While farmers pretty much know around the time of year when their harvest will be, we don’t. One thing we do have in common with farmers is that we can’t predict what type of crop we will have to reap when our season of harvest arrives. You see farmers can toil away all growing season, but all it takes is a drastic weather event to occur for their crop to be heavily affected. The weather not only can affect their harvest, but it can affect their sowing.

As with any planting process there are conditions that make for the ideal weather to sow seed. But how often does perfect weather come? If the ideal weather conditions don’t come all growing season, does this mean that the farmer doesn’t sow seed?

The other night at bible study we read Ecclesiastes 11: 1- 6. After reading this passage, I thought about it for days. It seemed so simple, but it was so profound.

It reads: (NLT translation http://www.biblegateway.com)

The Uncertainties of Life

Send your grain across the seas,
    and in time, profits will flow back to you.[a]
But divide your investments among many places,[b]
    for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.When clouds are heavy, the rains come down. Whether a tree falls north or south, it stays where it falls.Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb,[c] so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.

Verse 4 really resonated in my mind. I started to think about farmers and how perfect weather almost never comes, but somehow their seed still got sown. We know their seed got sown because we eat the food that comes from the crops of their harvest. I then compared their growing season to mine. Often times the Lord is telling me to do something and I’ll respond with, “Lord I’m just waiting until I have enough money saved, Lord I just need a little more time to be ready,”; Lord this Lord that. How am i asking God when my Harvest is coming, but yet I’m trying to tell Him when it will be the right time for me to sow the seed, to do the work?

A farmer who is the author of the blog A Year In The Life of Farmer talked about the farming as it relates to the weather, in his post entitled “Is there Such A Thing As Perfect Weather for Farmers? “

He said, “Usually, the discussion about weather is… well, that it sucks. Seldom do we farmers get what we want for weather; indeed it’s almost always not “perfect”, which of course is next to impossible. It usually rains too much, or too little, or at the wrong time.

http://southsaskfarmer.com/2014/05/20/is-there-such-a-thing-as-perfect-weather-for-farmers/

Just as farmers seldom get what they want for weather conditions, seldom do we get the conditions of life that we would like to have. If the conditions of our growing season were perfect, then what real work would we be putting in to sow the seed. We can’t sit around and hope for the perfect weather to show up in order for us to work towards our harvest.

God makes it very plain in verse 4. If you wait for perfect weather you will never plant and if you watch every cloud you will never harvest. Verse 6 also stuck out to me; you don’t know which seed you sow will bring forth the best harvest, so you have to plant multiple seeds and the harvest will either come from one seed or the other or maybe both.

Waiting for perfect conditions is not faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith means toiling for your harvest come rain or shine, joy or pain. Faith means knowing the conditions aren’t perfect but pressing forward towards the harvest because you know it will be worth it. Faith means not knowing if your growing season will last 2 days or 10 years, but consistently sowing seed anyhow.

We all have to wait to reap our harvest in God’s timing, but that doesn’t mean we wait to sow the seed. 

The only thing perfect when we think about our growing season and our harvest, is God’s timing. A lot of us desire the harvest, but aren’t sowing any seed. We’re waiting for a shift, we’re waiting for a job, we’re waiting for more money, we’re waiting for a spouse. We’re waiting for God to confirm for the millionth time that it’s time for us to do what He asked us to do 2 years ago. The conditions for us to fulfill our assignment weren’t perfect at that time so we didn’t obey, but here we are 2 years later and the conditions STILL aren’t perfect. Had we planted the seed then we would be harvesting now.

The truth about the harvest is that you cannot reap what you do not sow. The truth about the harvest is that there are no perfect conditions for seed to be sown. The truth about the harvest is whether the sun is shining or it’s pouring rain, the sowing of seed  must go forth in order for crop to be reaped during harvest.

The truth about the harvest is there is nothing perfect about it but God’s timing. So don’t wait for “perfect”. Sow seed now, or when your season of harvest should be arriving, your growing season will just be beginning.

Matthew 9: 37 “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.”

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