At the time of writing this devotional, the final parts of the wheat and barley harvests are being brought in from the fields in our area. Upon seeing the farmers out in their combine harvesters I was pondering what a joyful season this must be for them- the reward for their hard labour! All year they have planned precisely, worked tirelessly and sacrificed much to be able to see this harvest time arrive. Money has been invested, time has been sacrificed and hard work has been done throughout the year: ploughing, sowing, fertilising and weed killing. I wonder, would there have been any moments throughout this process that some farmers would have asked themselves: Is this all worth it? Why am I doing this? Will there be a good crop?
It is only the hope of a harvest that adds sense and purpose to the hard work and dedicated sacrifice. However, for the farmer the harvest results are not entirely in his own hands. He does what he can and then has to wait. Depending on uncontrollable factors such as the weather the harvest will be ranging from disastrous to fantastic.
For us, as we follow Jesus, we too are asked by the Lord to sacrifice a lot. In fact, everything! Our lives are no longer our own and we are to take up our cross, deny our self-life, and follow Him. What is the point, the casual observer asks? Why does the Christian not join us in the life of pleasure? Perhaps, in all honesty, we sometimes too ask ourselves: would I not be better off just enjoying my life and living in indulgence?
Though we believe the Lord made life good and we are allowed to enjoy the good gifts of God, for us there also is a bigger picture: eternity. We sow in this life- we harvest later, both in this life as well as the next. One great difference between us and the farmer is that our harvest is absolutely certain. Anything we truly sacrifice for the Kingdom of God will be an investment into eternity which no one can take from us- ever. Eternity’s reward is not affected by inclement weather!
If you find yourself in a season of sowing, or ploughing, or even of waiting, be encouraged! Whatever we do for the Lord, He will not forget it. He wants us to trust Him- there will a joyful harvest waiting for us, safe and secure, an eternal reward from our faithful and gracious Father in heaven. It is certainly worth the short earthly season of ploughing away!
Prayer: Father in heaven, please help me to remain faithful to You all the days of my life. I confess that, at times, I do struggle and feel discouraged. As I bring this to You, will You help me to know the certainty of eternity with You deep in my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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