An angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted (John 5:4).
Seasons. God creates seasons and times–a time for everything under the sun. We are entering the fall season when we naturally think about harvest time.
When someone mentions a “harvest party” these days in Pennsylvania (where I live), pictures flash across our minds of crunchy fall leaves, fruit trees burgeoning with ready fruit, hay rides, bobbing for apples, singing around the campfire, and roasting marshmallows to make Smores. Fun!
Of course, while I’m having a great time at the party, there are people who are actually working and engaging in harvest. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines harvest as the season for gathering in agricultural crops; the quantity of a natural product gathered in a single season. Perhaps the key word here is season.
I’ll never forget harvest time in Brogue, Pennsylvania, in the 1960s. No one was setting up fun parties for children that I can remember.
I was new in this elementary school and boy was I shocked when fall came and half the students left the building for about two weeks. Children left the school to go home and help their parents pick potatoes or haul in the wheat and corn and can tomatoes. It was a bit of culture shock for me to go to school and half my classmates were missing. I’d never seen anything like that before. As my mother drove me home from school, I saw children beside adults, bent over rows and rows of potatoes and young teenagers driving columbines in the corn field.
Harvest is work! What if our dad, Father God, calls us to leave our normal agenda this fall to work in his field? Are our tools and tractors and hearts ready to join him?
Harvest is a funny thing. You have to pick the fruit or reap the corn at the right time. In fact, timing is everything in harvest.
I’m not saying that God wants us all to quit our jobs or our schooling and go evangelize. I am saying, he may detour us off our normal schedule during harvest time so we can help him with harvest. The question is—are we willing? Are we surrendered?
Who owns me in September 2013?
Who’s my boss in September 2013?
Is my heart ready to respond at any moment if my Dad calls me to work in His field? I can see myself now in an elementary school classroom (childlikeness is important here), and Father God walks in and says, “It’s time. Who wants to help me with harvest?”
My hand is going up! “Pick me! Pick me! I want to go!”