“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'”
Thoughts from Amanda Cook
Behind the Scenes
So many images come to mind when I read this verse, but I didn’t grow up on a farm or have anything to do with crops and harvesting, so I’m not sure they are accurate or significant. But, I have used essential oils for many years (yes I’m one of “those” people), and I have learned a little about harvesting the plants used for these oils.
The timing of the harvest is crucial to get the best quality of oil with the most beneficial constituents. Some plants, such as lavender, need to be harvested in the morning just after the dew dries, some in the evening. Some plants, such as sandalwood, must first die and lie on the ground for many years before they are ready to harvest. When the time is right, there must be laborers to gather the plants in the right way and at the right time or all the effort of the growing season is lost.
Can you imagine being the farmer of these most beautiful plants – lavender for instance – and your workers have overslept? You look around and no one is there to help. You start pulling plants hoping to get them before the heat of the day when they get burned and shriveled up. And you lose a significant amount of your harvest. You lose the beautiful oil that could have been distilled from these plants. The gifts and essence of the plant.
You see after the crops are harvested, the real work begins. The farmer has to bring them in and at just the right temperature and pressure, he will distill all the beneficial components from the plants into oil form. It takes someone trained and knowledgeable to draw out the best oils from the plants. It takes a Master.
Make it Real
Jesus is the Master and has called us to the harvest. There are so many people who need to hear the love and grace of our Savior, and He is inviting us to partner with Him. He is calling his laborers, and so many of us are sleeping. But NOW is the time. The harvest is plentiful and ready to be picked.
We keep hitting the snooze button thinking someone else will get up and do the work. “I’m good. I need the sleep. There are others with more time, more talent, more money, more smarts, more…” Fill in the blank. But what if it’s YOUR gifts that Jesus needs to draw out. What if YOU are the one to reach your family, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, …?
Maybe you’re scared to do it alone or that you’ll mess it up somehow. Check out verse one though; it says, “the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two into every town where He Himself was about to go.” WE can’t mess it up – He is headed there after us. He wants us to prepare the way. In our analogy, we just need to bring in the crops. He will do the distilling to draw the gifts out. As the farmer will distill the plant to draw out the most precious elements of it, Jesus will distill our harvest. He will draw out the best gifts, not only in you, but also in those you are sent to. He will do the real work.
So, get a buddy (or two or three…) and get moving. The harvest is plentiful, and we have a Savior who is calling us into His work.
End in Prayer
Dear Jesus – thank You that You invite me into Your Kingdom work. Thank you that You wake me up to work the field with You. I’m so not worthy to work alongside You, and yet You invite me in. I will quit hitting the snooze button and get up and get to work. I will grab my community and move forward on this mission. Give me the strength, wisdom, and love to go where You call me to go.
It’s in Your precious and holy name I pray!