Jesus refers to God as "the Lord of the harvest" (Matthew 9:38). How do you reflect God's bounty in your everyday life?
Guest blogger Benjamin L. Corey encourages us to put God in his place this harvest season.
Lately I’ve been enjoying the transition of the seasons. My family and I live in a small town in the foothills of Maine, and absolutely love the transition to autumn. In our part of the country, sticky summer nights give way to a satisfying cool breeze, and the forests that surround us give up their summer green in exchange for breathtaking colors that the eye can hardly take in. Combine this with the smell of pumpkin spice in the air, apple picking at a local orchard and the celebrations of harvest at the many local fairs, and you’ve got yourself a season to be enjoyed.
In all of this transition of the seasons, celebration of harvest, and preparing for a season of familial celebrations that will soon be on us, I’ve been meditating on the theme of harvest in scripture. From the time I’ve spent in the scriptures and pondering this issue, the one thing I’ve walked away with this harvest season is the simple truth that God needs to be put in his place.
I realized this one day as I was looking at the words of Jesus in Matthew 9:35-38:
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field’.”
As I read this verse, something jumped out at me that I hadn’t fully appreciated before. This time, it wasn’t the actual context or the content, but a simple title: “Lord of the harvest” —and this is precisely where I saw that God needed to be put in his place when it came to my own life.
You see, the symbolic meaning of harvest in scripture encompasses two main areas: God’s provision for us and God’s blessing for others. While we celebrate a harvest season just once a year, we experience the spirit of harvest all the time.
Each day that we go to a job and earn a paycheck, we experience harvest. Each time we receive love from our family and those in our lives, we experience harvest. Each time we experience the closeness of God in a way that fills us spiritually, we experience harvest. Any time we are filled, we experience harvest.
Harvest then isn’t something that we experience once a year, but something that we experience on a daily basis.
This is where those words Jesus uses are so important: the harvests we experience on a daily basis don’t actually belong to us — they belong to God, because he is the Lord of the harvest, not us.
Our jobs belong to the Lord of the harvest.
The money we earn belongs to the Lord of the harvest.
Our spouses and children belong to the Lord of the harvest.
It’s all his.
When we put God in his place — his rightful place — we recognize him as the Lord of our harvest. We recognize that he is the one who gave us hands to work, that he is the one who supplies our provisions, that our family is actually his family … that it rightfully belongs to Him.
Finally, when we recognize the Lord of the harvest for who he is in our lives, we also embrace the fact that while in part our harvest is something he gives to meet our needs, it’s also something he wants us to use to bless others. All those wonderful things in our lives that we’ll give thanks for next month? Those things exist, in large part, to be a blessing to the world around us.
This harvest season, whether you’re along a hiking trail in Maine or getting in the sun on a California beach, I hope you’ll join me by pausing for a time of reflection and asking, do I need to put God in his place this harvest season?
This harvest season, be a blessing to the world around you: sponsor a child today!