I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but around here construction has been booming since Covid started. New homes are being built as fast as they can, existing homes sell the day they go on the market and remodels are happening everywhere. That’s created a couple of problems. The first is that supply and demand has driven the cost of materials sky high. The second is that there is a shortage of workers to do the work. Construction companies are begging for workers. With the lack of workers, jobs aren’t getting done as quickly as they should and people have to wait for months to get their projects done. Every day people are praying for workers so they can complete their jobs.
Not long after Jesus started His ministry, crowds started showing up. They would search for Him early in the morning and stay until late in the evening. He could barely get any rest or time alone. Some days He was so busy He didn’t get to eat. Instead of being overwhelmed at the crowds, He had pity on them. His heart was filled with compassion because of their great need for salvation as well as physical healing. In Matthew 9:38, as He looked at the crowd, He turned to His disciples and said, “Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest” (GNT). He and His 12 disciples were busy every day with the work of God’s Kingdom so much so that John said if all the miracles Jesus did had been recorded, all the books in the world couldn’t contain their stories.
This is where you and I come in. We have two parts in this. One, we are to pray for workers to gather in the harvest as Jesus commanded us to. The other is to recognize we are the workers. Ephesians 2:10 says, “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” (MSG). Each of us were created to work in His Kingdom, but few of us are doing the work. He didn’t mean that we should all work at the church. He meant that everywhere you go, and especially at your job, there is a harvest that needs to be brought in. Instead of just praying for workers, we should be like Isaiah and say, “Here am I send me.” There is a harvest ready to be brought in right now, and God is looking for us to step up and do the work He’s called us to.
Recently I was talking with my friend outside while the kids were playing. They decided they wanted to play basketball. They were taking turns shooting, but every time the youngest tried to shoot, she could barely get the ball over her heard. I lowered the goal to see if that would help, but it didn’t. She just wasn’t able to get the ball high enough to go through the hoop. The next time it was her turn, I picked her up and held her over the goal so she could easily make it. After realizing she couldn’t do it on her own, and that she could with help, she began to ask us to lift her up each time it was her shot. I couldn’t help but think that it was great picture of how God helps us accomplish the things He’s called us to.
When the disciples came to Jesus to tell Him the 5,000 people were hungry, He told them to give the people something to eat. Just like that little girl looking up at that basketball goal, they realized it was impossible for them. Jesus blessed the fish and loaves, but had the disciples distribute it and pick up the leftovers. They were still able to participate in the miracle with His help. He was always working to give them confidence to do the work of the ministry with His help and not on their own strength. When He sent out the 70 in Luke 10, He told them, “You won’t need to take anything with you—trust in God alone. And don’t get distracted from my purpose by anyone you might meet along the way” (TPT). He was reminding them that they get to participate in the miraculous with God and they wouldn’t need anything of their own to make it happen.
Before He sent them off, He also said, “The harvest is huge and ripe. But there are not enough harvesters to bring it all in. As you go, plead with the Owner of the Harvest to drive out into his harvest fields many more workers.” God is still looking for people who will participate in the work that needs to be done, but to do it in His strength and with His help. He calls us to things that are greater than ourselves so that we can rely on His strength and know that it’s not in our own abilities. We can keep trying to do things on our own, over and over again, but they will fall short. When we learn to ask Him for help, and present ourselves as available to participate, He comes in with His strength, lifts us up and allows us to complete the goal. Remember it’s in our weaknesses and inabilities that His strength is made perfect. When we do our part, He does His.
Recently I was talking with a lady I have known my entire life. She was sharing how her grandfather had a garden, her father had a garden and how she and her husband have a garden. She’s worried because she doesn’t see many people after her generation planting gardens. The art of digging into the earth, planting seeds in their season, watering the seeds, keeping weeds out, tending to the growing plants and bringing in a harvest is being lost. Some are ok with the thought of that being a past time, but with it goes a lot of understanding of scriptural principles too.
Whether or not people continue to plant gardens, the law of sowing a reaping will still be true. Will the next generation understand what sowing and reaping is if they never plant anything? If they never plant anything, will they understand the time and dedication it takes to reap a harvest? If they don’t understand what it takes to bring in a harvest, how can they be expected to work in God’s vineyard? Jesus said, “Pray that the Father would send laborers to work in the vineyard.” The idea of labor is hard work.
God is looking for people who are not afraid of hard work. Ones who know that to get a harvest, it takes tilling, sowing, tending and watering. People who know that just bringing in the harvest is not enough. There’s more work to be done after you bring the harvest in. Once the harvest is brought in, you have to prepare the land for the next planting season. The work of the Kingdom is like that, it never ends. It’s a continuous cycle just like the garden. We must continually be about our Father’s business. We must always be tilling, planting, watering, tending and reaping. Our work won’t be finished until he comes.
The more we plant, the bigger the harvest we can expect. My friend told me that her husband planted 18 pounds of potatoes and got 500 pounds in the harvest. Imagine if he had planted a hundred pounds! The harvest we are seeing in our churches is small because we haven’t planted enough. It’s time we began to sow the Word of God into the lives of others bountifully. We then need to water that Word with prayer. We can tend to it by having conversations that are godly and uplifting. When the time is right, those souls will be ready for a harvest. It won’t be just them, but their families too.
What are you planting into the lives of others? If you haven’t been planting, you can start today. Yes, it’s hard work and it won’t be easy. God made gardening hard work on purpose. He’s looking for people who aren’t afraid to dig in to the dirty parts of life, plant seeds of His love in their life and then shower them with blessings. It’s time we got back to the basics of what we were called to do. It’s time we started planting again because there can be no harvest if no one plants. Whose life will you sow seeds in today?