How to Reap the Gardener’s Harvest
What a huge harvest!” Jesus said to his disciples. Matthew 9:37a
Teacher’s pet in the back row waving my arm in the air to get noticed, bouncing in my seat to the tune of “me, me, me!” is my self-described place in God’s court. Longing to do great things because He has done great things in me has been a part of my DNA for as long as I can remember.
And it seems until now the greatest thing He has picked me to do is surrender my desire to do something great for Him. And I have. I do. I will again over and over. Because I know He doesn’t need me to establish this great Kingdom; but I delight in Him using me just the same. My joy is His allowing me to work beside Him just as my Papa did in his garden.
Papa sowed the seed, planted it, watered it, pruned it, fed it and watched it grow anticipating its maturity, knowing the exact time for perfect picking. And if I happened to be with him on that day, he always let me pluck it. Always let me carry the plump fruit and veggies inside to Grandmother where we’d ooh and aah over their ripeness, rub our hands over their green, yellow or red vibrant hues and drool over anticipated juice on our taste buds. Papa grew and nurtured the produce housed in his garden; but, when I walked through the garden with him, he gave me the privilege of harvesting it. [Click here to tweet this.]
And when it wasn’t time to harvest, we walked together. When the garden was barren with winter’s cold, he shared with me how he was preparing his garden for spring. When warmer days brought rain and soft earth, he taught me about seed. “Have you tried a cucumber? This is the perfect spot for the biggest, greenest ones you’ve ever seen!” and, “do you like radishes? They only burn your tongue for a minute. They taste as fresh as spring when you bite into one.”
Under his tutelage I experimented with my taste buds, devouring radishes, green onions and figs, quite an astonishing feat for an 8-year-old who secretly preferred pizza and happy meals. However, I would joyfully endure a bushel of radishes and smear of fig jelly on toast many times over to be the one walking in the garden when the veggies were ripe.
Some planting seasons are especially hard. Sometimes winter’s chill refuses to lift even under the warmth of spring. Even when summer’s harvest is an anticipated vision, winter’s barrenness can linger in the soul. Yet I walk in the garden.
I no longer feel the need to wave my hand at God to get noticed. He’s already chosen me: to endure heat, and mud, and bugs, and dust, and sleepless nights, and cold showers. Yet because I was willing to keep walking with Him, when nine children’s hearts became ripe for harvest He allowed me to harvest. Because I returned to the garden day after day after day, when the harvest was ready The Gardener entrusted me to hold their souls. Not because I’m more special. Not because He loves me more. Just simply because I am there. [Click here to tweet that.]
He chose me to love kids. And even when it feels we’re walking the garden alone The Gardner and me, I feel safe, loved, special, just like Papa made me feel.
Doing great things, plucking summer’s harvest comes from frequent, long walks in the garden, learning how to cradle the vegetables, recognizing the ready fruit on the vine, watching The Gardner’s hands, His habits, His ways. Most days I hardly believe He’s asked me—Extended this invitation to the garden. Everyday I marvel that I had the wisdom to say yes. Today, will you walk? Hand in hand with The Gardner? Seeking ripe bounty in the rows? [Click here to tweet that.]
Papa walks in the garden where it’s eternal harvest season now. Under The Gardener’s tutelage, Papa is surely tasting ripeness in fuller flavors than he’s ever known.
“He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2
Will you walk in His garden too?
Upcoming SDG: Connections Posts
On Wednesday, Michelle Lazurek shares about her experience of being hurt by the church while in ministry (Kelly also shared about being hurt in the church last week and I am amazed by how many people resonated with her. I think God is really moving within this topic, offering healing and respite from hurt and pain.
On Friday, Lori Dunham shares her story of international adoption…one that seemed to happen against all odds.
Don’t forget to join us Saturday for Week 9 of our Isaiah 54 study with Dawn Boyer!
Let’s support our sisters who are sharing so bravely, yes?
SDG Gathering Important Information
Lisa Smith is helping me facilitate our gatherings each week. She is visiting those of you who link up on “even” numbers and I am visiting the “odd” (don’t worry, I’m not calling YOU odd). She will also be sharing on Mondays with you from time to time, opening up her heart and life to you, as you faithful do with us each week you link up. We do have some important housekeeping items about this gathering, so if you have not read them, please come here to catch up. The condensed version: Link up ONE post that shares your heart authentically and be sure to check in with some of your sisters who have linked up with you. Leave a heartfelt word of encouragement for them after you visit their space. This is a community where we actively seek to get to know each other.