A Bountiful Harvest
It's a waiting game for farmers and gardeners now. Yes, they irrigate, fix and tinker with the occasional machine needed for the irrigation and wait for the right opportunities to give water at the proper times. If any of you have taken a drive out to the country recently, you see the beginning fruits of those labors as small sprouts are beginning to appear. Soon, though, small sprouts will turn into full-grown stalks where heads of corn will appear. When they grow to maturity it will be time to, Lord willing, collect a bountiful harvest of both corn and beans.
As Christians, living in today's world, we too have the opportunity to collect a beautiful harvest. I believe that God gives all time for "planting", laying out the seed of God and his truth in the lives of individuals. Then, like the farmer, we can also nurture those seeds along by giving people encouragement through God's word and passing on messages from him that have inspired us. Soon, we will be able to see the beginnings of a bountiful harvest arising and we would pray that these same practices could continue for the new group of Christians that we have come alongside.
The questions this forces us to ask ourselves is: Who have we invested the "seed of God" in? Who have we sought to nurture along the path of fellowship, guiding them into a relationship with Jesus Christ? It may not always be easy going. There will be some "droughts" of faith just like there are drought-filled times in any growing season. It may not be the easiest path taken for growth either. We have all seen plants that have managed to grow around or through different obstacles, such as a crack in the sidewalk or growing around an object. These pictures show us that through dedication and belief in an Almighty God, faith can grow. The unique thing about faith is that it never stops growing. Every year, the farmer and the gardener have to collect their produce at some point. If they leave it outside, it will get spoiled and will soon be covered by the winter storms. This is one area where farming/gardening differs from faith growing. Faith has the opportunity to grow for a lifetime and produce wonderful men and women of faith. The time for "harvest" will come when Christ comes again.
I pray that we will all have people in our lives that we can invest in for the kingdom of God. The unique part about sharing your faith is that you can be the starting point, and then someone else can take over and continue to help that person along their path. This doesn't mean that you give up on someone, instead it is allowing God to take them on their journey and to use the whole church community to continue that buildup of faith. God has given us great opportunities to spread his love in this world. I'm praying that when that final harvest is upon us, we can say with confidence that we took part in helping to grow many of the faithful found there at that time. I'm also praying that we can say that we were helped in our own growth by others who came alongside us. It is said that "the harvest is many, but the workers are few." May we be considered part of those workers who continue to carry forth God's message to a fertile field of his world.
The Wheeled Worshipper