The Hard Work of Harvest

120221_galatians6_9_laneSo we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9)

How have you enjoyed a time of harvest in your life?

What are the challenges of harvest?

How are you relying on and helping others through a season of harvest?

I grew up in the seventh generation of a family farm in central Illinois. I loved farm life, and the fall harvest season was one of my favorite times of the year. But it was also a difficult time of the year. My dad was very busy, and I didn’t seem him often. But I was proud of how hard he worked, and I loved the brief visits in the field when we’d take him supper. I enjoyed helping when I could. When the sweet corn was ready, we’d sit on the tailgate of a pickup truck full of ears of corn, and shuck them one at the time. It always seemed to be scorching hot that time of the year, and the corn silks stuck to every part of us. But we were reaping the rewards of a good crop, partly due to our own efforts but mostly due to the weather and other factors I didn’t realize God had His hands in all the time.

Once a crop is harvested, there is still a lot of work to be done. Those who have a garden know that picking the vegetables comes with some satisfaction, but very few of the vegetables require no preparation, especially if the owners want to enjoy them in a variety of forms through the winter months. Tomatoes are made into salsa and spaghetti sauce. Cucumbers are made into sweet or dill pickles. Peppers are made into relish or cleaned and chopped for cooking projects. Fruit is jellied, jammed, and preserved. Harvest is rewarding and demanding.

Our spiritual lives are no different. An ending leads into another beginning. Maturity comes with responsibility. Experience leads to new questions and exploration. Yes, there is a sigh of contentment in harvest, but there is also a deep breath of preparation for the next step.

What is one area in which you feel fairly spiritual mature right now? Refuse to compare yourself to others. Simply look at the growth in your own life. What is different, better than five years ago (or even a year or half year ago!)? What responsibility might come with that maturity? Take an active step in responsibility today. Help someone else. Begin a new habit. Write your story. Take a step.

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