Then he said to his disciples,
I was raised in the country and always had a sizeable family garden. The desire to plant and harvest is one that brings comfort and satisfaction. But ever since leaving the homestead, I have been a lousy “farmer.” My thumb is not green. I do not learn or research enough, water enough, plant in the right soil, fertilize enough (or at all), or prune enough. I drive by the yards, gardens, and fields of others and know that if it depended upon me, the world would be botanically challenged and most likely starving.
I do not take the time to have an excellent garden, and my harvest reflects that. My rhubarb seems to thrive, but that is a plant which seems strongly opposed to destruction. The fact that I can enjoy any raspberries, flowers, or meager vegetables at all is a tribute exclusive to theplants themselves and not to me.
I wish it were not that way. I want my yard and garden to look like a photo shoot for Better Homes and Gardens or the Burpee Seed catalog, or on a smaller scale at least be selected for our local garden club tour, but that will never be the case. Once the plants come home from the nursery, it’s downhill from there.
But there is another garden, a field that I am dedicated to.
Thankfully, its growth and final harvest does not depend on me. But for those of us who have been rescued from our sin by the gift and grace of God, this is a harvest that we are all asked to participate in. (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20; Rom. 10:13-15)
How? Labor. Do the work that you have been asked to do. Plant the seed of the Gospel. Water. Plant again. Water some more. Tending to a field or garden is a daily responsibility, not a weekly one. (I Pet. 3:15) Pray. This is also work we have been asked to do. (1 Tim. 2:1-4) The implication is, though the laborers are few, more will come if we ask. “Believers’ prayers participate in the fulfillment of God’s plans.” (MacArthur Study Bible, p. 1376)
Why? Size. The harvest is plentiful. It’s a big ingathering. (John 6:35-39; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Matt. 24:31) Compassion. See the crowds as Jesus did—those around you whose eternal destiny is the broad way to destruction. Those who yet know nothing of the saving touch of salvation. (Matt. 7:13-14)
It is a fact. The laborers have been, are now, and will always, be few.
Laborers are special. They are particular people who work. There is plenty of work, but finding laborers to do the work is difficult. Some simply leave the work to others while waiting for the final harvest to come.
The harvest may not seem as meaningful to them. But with work comes reward and satisfaction. (1 Cor. 15:58; 3:7-9; Phil. 2:16; 1 Tim. 4:10) You have been asked to labor and pray for laborers to come. Since Jesus was a laborer in the field, in our assigned goal to be more like Him, we must labor also.
You are a migrant worker moving from place to place throughout your days on this earth to work in the “crop” that surrounds you. You work in all kinds of weather and in all kinds of soils (Matt. 13:1-30). You work for the Overseer of the harvest who is reasonable. (Rom. 12:1)
A final harvest is coming. The growing season will end. The harvest is not what is left in the field. The harvest is what is gathered in. Not one piece of “ripe fruit” will mistakenly be overlooked or remain in the field or on the tree.
Today, I will work and throw away my 6 sorry looking tomato plants which barely produced enough tomatoes for 3 meals. How sad. And today, I will also work in the paramount, unstoppable, assured harvest of God.
What an honor.