Enjoy an abundant harvest
Published 3:53 pm Friday, October 18, 2019
I spend a great deal of time traveling throughout our corner of the state visiting the sick and their caregivers as they deal with some of the most trying times of their lives. While doing that, I get to see a lot of the countryside and during this season of the year I greatly enjoy seeing the harvesting of corn, peanuts, and cotton taking place. Even though I have no personal time or resources directly invested in those crops, I am always thankful to see the abundance brought forth from the land. I also remember with sadness the tremendous loss that took place last year as the hurricane ravaged the fields and destroyed much of the crop that was ready to be harvested. But good farmers are determined and they don’t quit at every hardship and disappointment. In that determination they started all over again in the spring and now they are at that critical time when they hope to reap the fruit of their labor and benefit from their investment.
When we consider the hard work, patience, determination, and risks of farming, it is understandable why the Bible refers to agriculture so frequently to make spiritual lessons understandable to the recipients in the original setting and to us today as we study God’s Word.
The crops that are being harvested today started months ago when seeds were planted. Scripture refers to the sowing of seeds to remind us of some eternal truths. One such example is found in Galatians 6: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (verse 7, New International Version). There seems to be widespread deception in our world today that implies that God is so good that we can do as we please with no regard for what the Bible has to say and still enjoy all the favor of God. There is no doubt that He is good and loving, but He is also righteous and He has righteous requirements of us, and when those requirements are not kept there are consequences to be suffered. On the other hand, if we follow His way there is great reward to be enjoyed: “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (verse 8).
Last week Gale and I made a trip to North Georgia to visit my parents. They are much less physically able to grow vegetables than they used to be, so I share some of my harvest with them when I have the chance. It happened that I had some late peas ready for harvest on the day we made the journey to their house, so I got out early while the dew was still on and picked them a good mess of peas. Both of them were pleased to get them and they told me later of how good they were. Obviously if those seeds had not entered the soil there would have been no harvest, but because they did the end product was something good and pleasing. When we allow the Word of God and the Spirit of God to be planted in our hearts it yields eternal benefits.
Even after sowing the best we know how to spiritually, there are times when progress cannot be found. In those times our faith and patience are put to the test, but endurance always pays. Paul, the writer of Galatians, provides these words of encouragement for the faithful followers of Christ: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (verse 9).