Friday, October 31, 2008

Reflecting on the Harvest

Posted by Leona Bergstrom
Autumn is the wonderful season of the year when the world vibrates with the Creator’s colorful artistry. I love it. I love the challenges presented by the fall season as children head back to school and ministries start new programs. The air is electric with anticipation and hope. The autumn also is the time for harvest. Here in the Northwest we have huge festivals and fairs where farmers can display and celebrate the fruits of their labor. The harvest is their reward. My grandma taught me a lot about harvest. I spent my entire childhood on my grandparents’ farm in Wheatridge, Colo., where we raised corn, beans, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, and inevitably, zucchini. I loved the harvest because it seemed as if there were unending amounts of luscious crops. As a small child it never occurred to me how much work was involved in producing these fruits and vegetables. I thought it came easy. But, over the years, as I grew up and expanded my understanding of life, I began to learn the lessons Grandma wanted to teach me about all of the work it took to have a bountiful harvest.

Grandma taught me that seeds had to be carefully selected and purchased, that the dark rich soil had to be tilled and prepared for planting; that we had to plant the seeds the right depth, spaced apart just right—and in STRAIGHT rows! Then there was irrigating, hoeing, covering the plants during hail storms and the inevitable and boring weeding. All of that before we could enjoy one bite of juicy corn on the cob. When my grandma died and met the Lord of the Harvest face to face, I believe she experienced the unspeakable joy of her life’s harvest. This time it wasn’t corn or beans, tomatoes or strawberries, but the harvest of the seeds of faith she planted throughout her life.

Grandma had endured great hardships in her 92 years, yet through her life she never stopped trusting her Lord. She always taught me that the God of all creation was in control, that nothing surprised him and that he loved us during times of pain as well as joy. By the time Grandma died she had cared for and buried all of her sisters and brothers, her husband and one son. She had endured life’s normal and extraordinary trials.

When I would go through dark valleys in my life, she would always remind me of God’s undying faithfulness. She planted seeds of faith every day of her life. My grandmother was not a preacher or an evangelist. She was a little farm woman from Wheatridge. But the seeds of faith she planted are producing fruit in the lives of the generations living today.

The lesson is for our lives too. We can take our simple seeds of faith and plant them deep into the soil of his sovereignty and love, water them in his grace, weed out the sin, let the heat of trials beat down and rejoice in the succulent goodness of his harvest produced in our lives and in the lives of those whom we touch.
(Photos by DaDaAce and kmakice, shared via Flickr).

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