While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22 ESV)
Then he [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’ (Matthew 9:37-38 ESV)
The first verse above is part of the promise made to Noah after the flood and it shows Gods commitment to sustaining his creation. It is a promise that the seasons will come and go, the sun will rise and fall and that there will be a time of planting and a time of harvest. God has been faithful to these promises from the time of Noah and we come to the time of year when we give thanks for the harvest that has been gathered in and the provision the Lord has made for us of the past year. We once again acknowledge that every good gift comes from the Lord and we rejoice in His faithfulness. Yet we also know that we need more than just food for our physical bodies and we give thanks also for the way that he has provided for us spiritually as we have been able to feed upon his life transforming Word. It is a Word that uses the illustration in the second verse above of a harvest to speak of another, greater and more important harvest that is taking place. When Jesus talks about the harvest in Matthew he is talking about those that will hear the good news of the Gospel and respond. He talks of about how great this harvest is but at the lack of laborers to do the work, to tell of this good news and what is His solution, it is again that theme of earnest prayer that we have heard of in our services and bible study. As Charles Price writes ‘ Our task is not so much to run around and do everything but to allow the Lord to direct our path and bring us in touch with the right people in the right place at the right time to reap the ripe harvest.’ Let us be encouraged to do just that, to be in earnest prayer that the Lord may use us for His glory where He has put us and with those that he has directed us to. One day that harvest will be gathered in and we will be surprised in the ways God has used us to speak to others if we have been faithful to his leading. May the Lord encourage you in His service.