“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35 (NIV)
I wrote the following paragraphs at least a year ago:
“This morning I decided to pull up the tomato plants that I eagerly planted months ago. I was tired of tending them now. I took a bowl and harvested the last of the ripe and semi-ripe fruit on the vine. I looked at each tomato, was it ripe or close enough, did it have any flaws, any bug bites, was it damaged by the wind or not enough or too much water, was it worth picking? I looked at the ones that fell on the ground; were they hurt, or could I add them to the bowl. As the bowl got fuller, I got pickier, discarding some that I might have added earlier.
How thankful I am that Jesus is not like me harvesting the tomatoes. He doesn’t tire of tending to me or you. He doesn’t discard those of us that have been bitten, bruised and damaged by life. He carefully cradles me and you in his arms, heals the bumps and bruises and loves each of us regardless of our state. There isn’t a ‘no vacancy’ sign in Jesus’ bowl, it’s big enough for all who believe.
My prayer today is that if you are bruised or broken by life, hurting, or discouraged, you will turn to the One who can heal and love you as God intended. Know that Jesus will embrace you and love you just as you are. “
As I reread those words, I recalled how I felt that morning; I just didn’t have it in me to keep tending those tomato plants. Sometimes today I look around at all that is going on and I feel tired of trying to keep going amid all that I see. But I remember that Jesus called on us to continue just as he continued all the way to the cross, to the grave, to the resurrection. To continue isn’t to just exist; for me it is to be a worker in whatever way I can.
“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.” Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV)