Spring and summer are just around the corner which means, it’s harvest time. It’s time to plant fruits and vegetables by planting and gathering things and at the end of the day, harvesters are able to enjoy their production or, enjoying in the joy of what they sowed. This is not just for agriculturists but for the spiritual community, as well, and Jesus reflect the importance of the harvest for His laborers in Matthew 9:38: “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”
The problem is while the work is great, the workers are few. Sometimes, the farmers are few especially during times of drought and financial concerns. Christ has always had compassion for His people but in terms of laborers for His cause, He knew that such people were few in number. Matthew 9:36 reads “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” and in Matthew 9:37, Jesus told His disciple that “The harvest is plenteous, but the labourers are few.”
The spiritual harvest is just one example of where context of scripture is important as Christ is referring to souls needing to be saved and, therefore, brought to repentance. When God is talking about a spiritual harvest, He refers to the work of God within our hearts. In Luke 9, Christ is asked about His parable in reference to the spiritual harvest beginning with verse 11 through 15:
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the
way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away
the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word
with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in
time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are
they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with
cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to
perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest
and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit
Whether it’s an agricultural or spiritual harvest, we must use patience especially if the ground is not good but even if the ground is good, we must still use patience as things do not happen overnight and in terms of spiritual growth, it takes a long time for us to grow. As with plants, people need time to grow and as Christ tells us in Luke 9, when we accept God’s Word, we begin to grow and mature. Just like when we are faithful to sow the seed, we can enjoy the reaping of the harvest but, again, it does not come overnight but we must remember that while we can plant a seed and watch it grow, we cannot change the soil as this is God’s position and this is true whether it’s agriculturally or spiritually speaking.
From my personal experience, there have been many times when I have tried my best to get someone to see that God’s plan is much better than their’s and while there are times when we do see the benefits of our efforts, it typically takes a long time to see real results. The truth is, many times, we probably will never the real impact we have upon people and while this can be discouraging, we must remain patient and continue to be faithful just as God is.
Remember, when we are tempted to lose patience with someone, we should remember all the many times that God has remained patient with us and in the meantime, while we wait, the best thing to do is to simply pray for the seed(s) to grow and for the harvest to multiply.