The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. – Psalm 85:12
It was a hot June and now July feels more like Fall than Summer. In the Southwest, there is a “Heat Bubble” that seems won’t quit. Phoenix, AZ has had 20 days in a row with highs above 110 degrees! Drought in many places is threatening this year's crops. Sometimes the growing season seems very long. Months go by, and at times the growth of a crop seems almost imperceptible. In midsummer, the calendar seems full of weeks when storms or disease might threaten a crop, and the possibilities at harvest seem doubtful. Weather will do what weather will do. Each season is unique unto itself.
The same is true in our living out our lives in Christ. While we occasionally have seasons of rapid growth in our faith, at other times the harvest seems far away, with many obstacles and challenges to trip us up. Storms of anger sweep over us, and we speak harsh words to a spouse or a child. Our land, our nation, continues in a season of drought. There are times we wilt in the heat and drought of financial pressures, or personal crisis, or doubt, or faithlessness and we are tempted to cut corners as stewards of the resources God has given.
When the harvest seems so far off, we need to hear again God’s promise. Yes, our brokenness and sin are a reality we need to deal with. But hear and remember God’s great good news: God has shown us both God’s unfailing love and God’s abundant & eternal life in Christ!
The psalmist invites us to “listen to what God the Lord says” and to hear God’s promise of love, renewal, resurrection, and peace! God is ever-faithful and Jesus reconciles us and restores us to the right relationship! We are people of the empty tomb! In him, the harvest is guaranteed!
Different plants ripen and are ready to harvest at different times of the year. Snow peas come ready for harvest at a different time of year than pumpkins. Whenever fruits are ripe the abundance and blessing of God is and are evident. While, yet, in some seasons of life the fruit of our lives still seems far off – often we must be ready to act and harvest the opportunities of the Commonwealth of Christ. They are “at hand” as Jesus says.
Through the growing season, certain plants become mature and their fruit ripe at different times. We need to be daily checking the “fields of harvest” in our lives. The workplace, our neighborhood, the classroom, our community....in each of these places and more – God is breaking God’s Kingdom forth! Are we ready to harvest the opportunity to touch a heart, change a life, build up and increase the community of faith for the Cause of Christ?
“The Lord will indeed give [us] what is good.” In due time, maybe in this time, but always in God’s timing, our lives will yield a harvest in Christ.
Be God’s, Pastor Jim