Posts Tagged ‘harvest’

We are living within patterns and cycles. Nature teaches about the seasons; each year the same and yet each year different, affected by a combination of forces, some human-made, some divine.

harvestLove and faithfulness meet together;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
    and righteousness looks down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed give what is good,
    and our land will yield its harvest. [Psalm 85:10-12, NIV]

Here’s how I imagine this verse playing out: love and faithfulness are the human response. Out of the meeting of love (unconditional love, that is), faithfulness springs forth. What is faithfulness but trust and dependability and truth. Love is the ground from which these are born. Righteousness is the yardstick that emanates from God. It is only in God that righteousness and peace can dwell and prosper together. But here is the promise in this verse: as our love and faithfulness grow here in this three-dimensional world, God sees and we are blessed.

But what then is the harvest that God is blessing? I remember an old friend was adamant that a believer “bearing fruit” meant bringing more and more people to the Christ. I always felt like he was notching his spiritual guns. But today, I find myself leaning to a different understanding.

The harvest is the result of seeds planted, tended, and reproducing themselves. Wheat makes more wheat. Apple seeds make more apples. I am not a single seed but many. All humans are a composite. We see some of our reproduction capabilities in our families. If we are bitter, we bear more bitterness. If we are selfish, we teach the same (most often by example). But, if I love, then love is born in others. If I am faithful, a synergy is created like an unstoppable wave. Love and faithfulness are the strongest and most powerful forces and yet, the least appreciated. Instead, we have cheapened love to mean sex and heaped faithfulness with a list of exit clauses and “what ifs.”

These are the ones to practice and nurture: love and faithfulness and then righteousness and peace will pour down like rain.

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I don’t like doing anything slowly. Part of that is my personality and part of it I inherited from our current culture. Fast food, fast cars, fast acting detergent, whatever! About the only ones who appreciate slow are the Slowskies from the Comcast commercials.

Galatians 6:7b, 9
A man reaps what he sows. . . . Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

But truthfully, sowing has it’s own rate of speed. I can’t make something grow any faster than it’s intended to grow. It’s total futility to sit in front of a small pot and try to talk a seed into germinating. That is all God-stuff. It’s that way in nature and it’s undoubtedly the same way in the soil of the human soul.

I have posted about the Tortoise before. This ongoing battle of speed. My mind starts that buzzing first. I wake up in the mornings, and my mind is racing far ahead of my body. It makes me tired. I want to go back to sleep just to shut it off. But it’s even worse if I put that clock on sowing good things.

Good things will always reap good, eventually. If the motive is good, the results will be comparable. But I cannot predict what this “good” will look like. Sometimes, things get worse before they get better. Sometimes, the good we sow seems absorbed and lost. But, that is just perception. Good has a power, like energy, and cannot be destroyed. Good is love.

God is good. “Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” [Mark 10:18b]
God is love. [I John 4:16b]

I believe our focus should be on the planting, the sowing, part of the equation. Plant love in the lives of others and good will grow. I have been too “results” oriented. I’ve been looking for harvest.

My kids are all teens and I keep crying over the mistakes their making in their lives, the false starts, the collapsing dreams. I’ve been counting on those early seeds to be bearing fruit already. And sure, in some cases, that’s how it happens. But now I’m thinking, they are still germinating. And instead of sorrowing over the slow growth, I should be planting more and more. No one has ever said that we’re supposed to sow and then sit around and wait for the reaping. That will come, in its good time.

More sowing. Nice and steady. Every day. Every day.

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Acts 2:1
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

Pentecost, in Old Testament times, was actually considered a Feast Day. It was a day to bring the “first fruits” of the harvest to the Lord. It was offered in thanksgiving of what had been given to the people.

This day, we are celebrating the high school graduation of our oldest son. In many ways, he is our first fruit. He was a gift of God to us and and now we return him to the will and way of God. He turns 18 in a few more weeks and then he’ll be off to college, seeking his own future, making many of his own choices. Thanks be to God for the gift of our son.

Sergei was a foundling on the streets of Riga, Latvia. He has a few memories of his life in that country, but not many. At one time, he had a family there, but he does not remember how he was separated from them. He was in a boys’ gang for awhile on the street, but he doesn’t really remember how long… it could have been a day, a week, or even longer. When he was found by the police, he was taken to the orphanage and given a birth date and a name on June 27th. On January 21st, 1998, he entered the United States with a new name and a new family. He was chosen by God for a new life.

We gather today as a family to celebrate his harvest…. and God is with us.

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