The Harvest is Worth it

The plethora of bright pink scratches that are all over my hand and forearm right now are totally worth it. Even though they are itchy and tender, that is not going to stop me from picking raspberries again. The fruit is such a delicious blend of sweet, tangy, and juicy flavor that I can ignore the pain. There are parallel lessons to be learned comparing picking raspberries and laboring for God’s kingdom.

“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.” – ‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:2‬ 

  1. You actually have to work to get the harvest. It’s not like you just open your fridge and there is a bowl of berries waiting for you (unless you paid someone else to pick them for you). You have to go outside, probably in the hot sun, and search for the ripe berries, picking each one gently off the bush, taking care not to squish them. In the same way, we can’t just expect our friends, family, neighbors and coworkers to come to know Jesus without any effort at all. God invites us to participate in this labor by praying earnestly, loving and serving them unselfishly,  and being ready to speak to them about the truth of the Gospel when the Spirit prompts us to do so. 
  2. Discomfort is inevitable.  The bushes have thorns everywhere on the branches and stems. There are even thorns just millimeters away from the fruit. Try as you might, it is hard to avoid them, especially if you want to pick your whole harvest and not leave behind the mass of berries that are hiding farther inside the bushes.  In the same way, God calls us to follow Him out beyond our comfort zones and through difficult situation. If it were easy to master temptations, give selflessly, forgive those who have wrong us, and stand up for the gospel, we wouldn’t need God’s help. But it’s not and we do.
  3. Obvious doesn’t mean easy. I have several different varieties of raspberries growing, large ones, small ones, red, yellow, purple and black. The easiest to see are the black, not only because of their vibrant color, but because they grow in such a way that they aren’t covered up by as many. The black raspberries are not the easiest to pick, however, because they have the sharpest thorns. The majority of my scratches come from this bush. When we see a plan we think will be best for us and don’t understand why God is not allowing it to happen, he might be protecting us from being injured by thousands of tiny life thorns that we don’t even realize are there. We have to trust Him if he is leading us to another place that doesn’t seem to us like the best option.
  4. Most of the berries are hidden from view. You don’t realize how much you have to pick until you crouch down and start looking underneath leaves and approach the bush from multiple angles. Similarly, we might not at first see what God is doing in our lives and the lives of others on first glance. Once we labor along with Him for a while, we begin to see  how He is working all things for good and what fruit He is producing through trials and life circumstances.
 
Alright, enough reflecting. Go to the fields! The harvest is waiting!
 
-Liz

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