Years ago I wrote an article on harvesting plums, and today I find myself drawn once more to the analogies that same old tree of mine continues to offer. It’s harvest time again in the world of plums, and I’m most thankful for a tree that has been so very generous to share its bounty with me.
This season seemed to bring an acceleration of growth and copious amounts of fruit, way before I was ready and prepared for any jam making. Then true to form for Scottish weather, it suddenly changed in an instant, as a strong wind rose one night while we slept. The branches of the tree were given a right good shaking, and in the morning the grass was carpeted with fruit. What a waste. I rescued what I could but the birds and insects were up long before me and started harvesting for themselves. Thankfully the tree continues to flourish, and the branches are weighed down with even more glorious pink plums.
Before God, my heart has been breaking with the spiritual connotations. The harvest is all around us. There is a lost world literally dying to hear the good news of Jesus. There is no putting off for a more opportune time. The harvest is here.
As I’ve been pondering these things, I wonder, what is our personal and collective responsibility? That may feel like a weighty question when perhaps we ourselves are struggling with different burdens. However, when we change perspective to see through the eyes and words of Jesus, we remember the foundational reality that we were never meant to go to heaven alone. So many people are looking for hope, for faith, for unconditional love, and ultimately for Jesus. And we can all be sign posts. ‘Weighty’ can suddenly become an ‘exciting opportunity’! Especially as we don’t rely on our own strength or feelings, but utterly lean on the strength, courage, wisdom, and grace of God.
As God’s people may we get a fresh kingdom perspective of the times that we are in. A kingdom perspective to walk in faith and not fear. A kingdom perspective to practise wisdom in pandemic protocols, whilst still using our little areas of influence to share the love of Jesus with our families, friends, and communities.
The seasons don’t change. They will roll on in the order of creation regardless of other factors. Storms and predators are ever ready to sabotage harvest, even as we still ponder our response. This may be the simplest of stories today, but let’s pray the words of Jesus for ourselves and for others, and by faith, be prepared to be utterly amazed as He answers!
Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. (John 4v35)
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9v38)