Joy in the Harvest
The harvest season has come to an end. Most corn fields like this are long cut down and stored for winter. Gardeners have hauled in the last of the squash and pumpkins. The work is done. The waiting is over. We have had the feast of Thanksgiving to enjoy the harvest.
Harvest is spoken of repeatedly in the scriptures. What does a season of harvest look like in our spiritual life? Do you ever feel like you get to enjoy a harvest season with Christ? As Christians moved by the love of Christ, we dive whole heartedly into the work before us. Tilling the soil of people’s hearts, planting seeds of faith, watering each other with love, growing with the light of care and pruning, but do we allow ourselves to enjoy the final produce?
I find that more often than not I turn to the next field to plow instead of experiencing the joy of the harvest. The next heart to love, the next problem to solve, the next sin to conquer. Even when wonderful things are happening, I more often do not express the joy I feel in the moment. I am more of a retroactive joy experiencer. I sit in the quiet and enjoy the memories to myself without expressing much to those the experience happened with. There are times I look back on old journals and realize
~I can remember the days
I prayed for what I have now.~
I can remember the days we didn’t have jobs at the peak of the recession. I can remember the day we lost our first pregnancy and didn’t know if we would ever have children. I can remember the days our first child’s room was so small we could reach out our hands and touch each wall. I can remember the days I never thought I would sleep more than 4 hours a night. I can remember the days that relationships I have now were never even possible with the people we were back then. I can remember the days of scraping pennies to get to the end of a month. I can remember them all. And not one of them was left an unanswered prayer. Not one of them was endured without a reason or a benefit. Not one season went by without its harvest.
My eyes are so focused on the next season I forget to enjoy the one I’m in now. My mind focuses on what He is trying to refine in me now. The flame He is using to create a new me. Forgetting the metal I am is already more precious than the metal I was before. Every season has its challenges and every season has its joys. Why is my mind focused on what to ask for instead of the wonder that’s already been done?
One story stands out to me when I forget to allow myself the joy of being who God made me to be. Right now, the imperfect, sinful, prideful, me. The me that can’t figure out relationships. The me that has no idea how to love the kids God gave me. The me that wakes up, looks at my husband and wonders how in the world did I use to know how to love you but can’t seem to figure it out now? The me that has no idea what the future holds. This one. This me. All of me.
I can’t read this story without weeping myself. This woman had great sin to feel shame over. A great debt to repay. However, she did not hide in her shame and guilt. She did not go to a religious leader to confess her sins or to the temple to sacrifice for her forgiveness. She went straight to Christ. Just as she was. She ran straight to the feet of her savior. She may be weeping, but these are not tears of shame. These are tears of joyful expression and love for her savior. Verse 4 details this, “I tell you, her sins- and they are many- have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love.” The word for kiss here suggests and ongoing action. Repetitive, incessant, kissing. I doubt I have expressed this much joy of anything but the birth of my children. This is pure adoration of Christ. True worship of a savior. To be so moved by his love for even sinners as us to fall at His feet in love and joy. This woman did not wait to be perfected before coming with her praise. She did not wait until she felt right with God before falling at his feet. She didn’t clean up her act, fix her problems, look to the next issue before expressing joy for what has already been done for her.
~God demonstrates his own love for us in this,
While we were still sinners he died for us.
Romans 5:8 (italics mine)~
We have officially entered the Christmas season. The harvest has happened. Let’s enjoy it. God has already come into our world at a time that we weren’t perfect. A time that we did not even know the greatness of what He was going to do for us. There is always a reason to praise, and His name is Jesus.
“And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I received I will sow.”
By Hillsong United