When Harvest Is a Long Time Coming

I wrote these words last fall over here, but I needed them today and I want them in this space…maybe someone else needs them, too.

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It’s harvest time on the farm – and it’s been a long time coming.

The preparation has seemed to be as never-ending as the ninety degree days this summer turned fall, that hasn’t felt like fall until the last two days. For weeks my man has worked through sweat-soaked shirts with welding burnt arms to finish fabricating the truck body that would hold the sorghum when it was time to be cut.

The ground was wet, then the ground was dry – until the day he planned to start, and the ground was wet again. He’d say that about sums up the life of a farmer – and he’d blame the weatherman for getting it wrong – again. How does the forecast change so much from breakfast to lunch and back again by supper? If you’ve never paid attention the way a farmer does, you might never realize.

Life can be the same way, you know? We work and work, anticipating the time when it will all come to fruition.

The deed will no longer belong to the bank.
The kids will leave our nest and build their own.
The gold watch will be presented and we’ll finally clock out for good.
Except that doesn’t always happen – or at least not in the time or way we had planned.

Sometimes we exchange job security, for soul security – trading a higher quality of life for a higher calling.

Sometimes we get exchanged for “younger, more affordable, less risky” help and the gold watch is exchanged for a pink slip.

Sometimes the good health we always took for granted is what drives us to our knees, praying for one more day granted.

Sometimes the row we planned to hoe grows faster than we can find time to weed it – and life gets tangled and messy and full and we think we missed the harvest altogether.

But here’s the thing. As long as we are breathing, there’s still time. The one way our lives are different than life on this farm, is that as long as we have life – we have another chance. And the God I know and love and serve is in the business of giving them away – freely.

As long as He’s given you breath, He’s giving you time to get things right. With Him. With them. With whoever you need to get right with. Even with yourself.

And maybe He’s holding the harvest from coming in, until you (and I) are ready to receive it. Maybe He’s doing His best work in you (and I) through the drought and then the storms – making strong the soul that would have been too weak to hold the harvest He has planned. Because when He calls the harvest in, the haul is more than what we would ever pull on our own.

No matter how in control we think we are – or plan to be – the truth is we just aren’t. But God is and as the One through whom all things were created, He is also holding all things together. He alone can bring the harvest – we just need show up willing to plant and then receive.

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