I know I am not alone in my love of fall. I used to be a lover of the extreme seasons of summer and winter. Now, however, the more moderate tones of spring and fall are my favorites.
I mean, what’s not to love about fall? The crispy, sunshiny mornings? The huge harvest moons? The taste of apple cider and donuts. The smell of bonfires and hot soup. The fuzzy and comforting feel of scarves and sweaters. And the abundance of vibrant colors! Blazing oranges, reds, yellows and purples.
Fall is harvest time. Baskets of apples, sheaves of wheat and corn, an abundance of tomatoes, and squash and pumpkins.
Fall is the time to prepare for the winter, but also to relish the fruits of hours of labor over the spring and summer.
During the spring and summer, you turn over your soil, getting it ready for seeds. Then you mark your rows, and plant the tiny seeds every couple inches. You turn a light layer of dirt over them, and then start faithfully watering. Each and every day, morning or evening, unless there has been a rain.
Soon, you see cracks in the dirt, and the discarded hulls of seeds peaking through. Then tiny plants with one leaf, and then another and another. As the plants grow taller towards the sunshine, you pull up the surrounding weeds, to make sure nothing keeps these little plants from reaching their full potential.
And then, after a month or 6 weeks, or even longer, the plants get buds. Tiny, and not so tiny, flowers of yellow and white and pink. The flowers that become the beans or the peas or the green peppers or the tomatoes or the zucchini.
Finally it is harvest time. Picking the ripe fruits and vegetables. Brushing off the dirt and eating them right there in the garden. Filling bowls and baskets with tangible results of all the effort and resources you spent.
Fall’s physical harvest reminds me of the spiritual harvest that inevitably comes. The promise of a harvest keeps me going when…
-when I am pull my hair out frustrated with potty training…wondering if I am going to still be swishing panties when my child is 20.
-when I am spending hours tied to the table teaching math and spelling and reading.
-when I am listening to a child stumble over super easy words in their reading…wondering if they will ever get it.
-when I am making my children go back and redo their chores time after time after time. Knowing it would actually be easier to just do it myself.
-when I teach Bible clubs to kids who often seem not to be listening. And I wonder, what’s the use?
-when I am in children’s ministry for years and years, and???
-when we invest in the lives of people and they don’t seem to learn.
But then, the harvest comes…
-Meres is almost completely potty trained.
-My kids are learning, year by year. Increasing knowledge. Becoming better at each skill.
-Three of my four are good readers. And they love reading.
-My kids have become my work force. They do their jobs fairly well, and free me up to do other things.
-I hear stories and meet kids I have worked with over the past 20 years. I see them going on for the Lord. I see the fruit.
-2 of my children believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And get baptized. That is the best reward ever.
Sometimes we never see the harvest in our lifetime, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t coming. Sometimes the reaping is a group effort and a group blessing. Sometimes we won’t ever see the results of the planted seeds until we get to heaven. That is where the majority of the harvest is going to be revealed.
Our job is to keep planting. Keep watering. Keep being faithful.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
His sheaves-not someone else’s. Doubtless-it’s a sure thing, this harvest. And it’s a rejoice-worthy event.
Aren’t you glad!