Jen’s Gem: Your harvest is coming.
For many weeks, I have been blessed with a bountiful bounty from my garden. So much so that I’ve had to give away much of the harvest so it would not go to waste. I fully expected to fully reap once again yesterday. Yet, when I arrived, not so much.
Critters were the culprit. For months, I’ve not had a problem with God’s little creatures but as I perused my garden with its half-eaten zucchinis and peppers, I knew who was to blame. I did however, pull up several nearly full-size carrots and a handful of grape tomatoes, so it wasn’t a total loss.
As I spoke to a few of the other gardeners who were met with the same results, they noted that birds were seeking the juices of the tomatoes since we’ve been in near-drought conditions. One pointed out that a portion of the back fence where my garden is located is in need of repair. I felt a bit better knowing that the root cause of my lack had been identified.
I spent the rest of my time clearing out spent plantings and watering what remained. With rain expected this week, I am hopeful that I will return to a “sea of red” on my tomato plants and a few more cucumbers as the season winds down.
Interestingly (or not), a season of my work is also coming to a close. Like my garden, it has served my children and I well for many years. I’m beyond grateful for the people and experiences I have had and the skills I’ve learned. I will take this with me as I seek God’s next plan for me.
Each of Jesus’ apostles must’ve experienced this same thing as they left behind their life-long work. Peter’s fishing business and Matthew’s tax collecting venture were immediately discarded upon hearing the words, “Come, follow me.” They had no idea what their next season of life would look like. Yet they and so many others jumped right in without question.
I mean, who wouldn’t jump right in? Wherever Jesus went, good things happened. Miracles in fact! Blind people were given sight. Lame people leaped. Lepers were made clean. A child’s lunchbox contents fed thousands. Yeesh! It’s a no brainer!
These people’s “harvests” did come at a cost, however. You see, being a follower of Jesus at that time could get you killed. Sadly, the same is true today in many parts of the world. But as the lyrics to one of my favorite worship songs states, “There’s something about that Name.”
As I laid awake last night into the wee hours, many people came to my mind who are struggling with their harvests. A few are in need of surgery, some are embarking on completely different work paths, unsure of next steps, and still others – are suffering from deep-seated wounds of worthlessness, fear, and insecurity.
I prayed for each of them because I’ve learned that when someone’s name or face comes to my mind, they are also on God’s mind. In that moment, I either lift them up in prayer, send a quick text message, or if they are heavy on my heart, I call them. No one should suffer alone and sometimes just a “you were on my heart” message can transform someone’s day.
That’s what Jesus did – sort of. The difference? As He walked through the various towns, the entire population was on His heart! (My limited brain cannot fathom that!) He prayed for all of them. He healed all of them. He changed the lives of everyone – well, everyone who sought Him out.
“…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV)
He eliminated the “critters” from everyone’s garden so that each would reap a hearty harvest in their lives. That’s what He does. That’s who He is.
What’s keeping you from your harvest? Have you identified the critters that are stealing it? I pray you will spend some time this week contemplating these important questions. Then do as the apostle Peter suggested:
“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NKJV)
Bring your critters to Jesus. He can take whatever you throw at Him. Before you know it, you’ll be reaping once again.