by Sheri Schofield
The moon was full, lighting the pasture. The hay had been cut a week earlier and had been drying in the hot sun. Dad raked it into long rows that afternoon. “I hope it’s dry enough to put into the barn,” he said. “If not, we could lose it. Spontaneous combustion.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“If the hay is damp when it is stacked, it can get hot inside the haystack and burst into flames. But I think it’s okay. It’s been laying in the field for a week now. If we don’t get it in tonight, we’ll lose it anyway, because it’s going to rain. So let’s get busy.” Dad grabbed the pitchfork, mom grabbed a rake, and my brother and I began scooping up big piles by hand and throwing them into the truck. It wasn’t much of a field – only three acres. But we needed the hay for our cows.
There was a mist across the moon, a warning of rain to come. We all worked hard and without many breaks, piling the hay into the truck, driving it to the barn, unloading it then returning for more. It was exhausting. By the time the moon went down, we had the hay in the barn. We had raced against time and had beaten the rain.
Harvesting is hard work. But if we don’t get it in, we lose the crop. In today’s instant world, we have forgotten the work that goes into harvest. Someone else gathers the crops and brings them to market. The urgency of harvest no longer touches most of us.
Jesus spoke of a spiritual harvest. Matthew 9:35-38 tells us, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’ ” (NIV)
Each generation presents a new spiritual harvest on earth. Yet many Christians have lost the sense of urgency toward the lost. We live in a world of spiritual pain and suffering, where the lost do not know where to turn for answers. Large numbers of children across America are growing up with no knowledge of Jesus. How many would gladly run to Jesus . . . if we would tell them about him?
On Sundays, many Christians are content to go to church, listen to the pastor preach and then leave, considering their spiritual duty to be done. But that is not Jesus’ message. He asks us to help him with the harvest. He set the example for us in what he did while on earth, to show us how to reach the lost.
The Harvester calls to each generation of believers: “Come! Help with the harvest!” This is not the preacher’s job: it is ours. Age does not matter. Children and elderly alike can help gather souls for God’s kingdom. Look around! We are surrounded by a world in desperate need of Christ. “The harvest is ripe!” Jesus is calling to us. Will we help?
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21, NIV
About the author: Sheri Schofield, an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, has just released her new book, The Prince And The Plan, to help parents lead their children into a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Join the Conversation: How are you helping with the harvest?