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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Harvest Waits for No One

For the last two days, I have picked raspberries in my backyard - lots of them! The plants have been in the ground here for four years, but this is the first really good harvest. For several years, we have been trimming tree branches, which has gradually allowed more sunlight for the raspberry plants. Last year I had to battle Japanese beetles, which nearly destroyed the plants. Early this spring, I dug around the plants to give them more ground to expand to. With the abundant rains, they grew like crazy. Four weeks ago when they bloomed, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were so many blossoms!

In the last week, I had been watching and waiting, and picking a few unripe ones because I couldn’t wait. But now, the berries are ripening. And they will wait for no one. If I don’t pick them, now, they will fall to the ground. And, I’ll have to check and pick every day for the next week until the first harvest is complete. I’m not the only one who has noticed, I have to fight with the squirrels and birds to get there first.

Most garden fruits and vegetables are that way. You have to harvest them at exactly the right time. And, when that time comes, you have to act because delay means loss.

The Bible uses agricultural analogies frequently. Modern-day farmers (I mean real farmers–not the corporation farm owners) and gardeners understand those analogies and teachings in a way that no one else can. If you have never dug in the dirt or sand with your hands, you’ve missed out on the tangible experience that God had in creating man. If you have never fought with weeds, weather, insects, deer, raccoons or birds for your crops, then you may not understand the parable of the sower quite as viscerally.

If you have never watched and waited for your trees’ fruit or your garden produce to ripen, then you have missed out on the full impact of God’s teaching about seedtime and harvest – especially the great end-time soul harvest. The cool thing about my raspberries is that they are called ever-bearing. That means there is an early harvest in June, but there is also an even better late harvest in September when the berries are even bigger and juicier because of the cooler temperatures.

Luke 10:2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

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