Autumn has arrived dressed in gold and lavender. Aster blossoms explode in tiny, purple fireworks. Black-Eyed Susan’s chocolate-colored heads droop under clear, azure skies.
Fall is here. The last red raspberries of the year plump up, sweet and juicy. Red apples hang heavy and low, warmed by the October sunshine.
The long, growing days of summer have faded. The cicadas’ raspy love song has stilled. The afternoon sun, now more smolder than blaze, no longer clears the top of the ancient cottonwood tree.
The time for harvest has come. The last hay bales of the year–dried summer days–sit huge and round, waiting to fuel bovine, winter dreams.
Dust roils up from the bean head as the combine harvests soybeans, and tractors pull wagons filled to nearly overflowing.
Farmers must harvest many acres in the next weeks in the days between rains, in the hours before the dew condenses, making the stalks tough and difficult to combine.
Jesus understood harvest time. He recognized the size of the task, how much grain needed to be gathered in and how few there were to do it. Right after he had talked with the Samaritan woman at the well, He spoke to His disciples about the harvest of souls.
I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time! John 4:35 MSG
Is God calling me to help with the harvest of souls? Where? How?
Is it in a place or among a people I didn’t think would be receptive to the Gospel?
“What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Matthew 9:37,38 MSG
Have I prayed for more people to help with the harvest? Have I prayed for those who already are?
Do you remember what happened in Samaria after Jesus talked with the woman at the well?
The spiritual harvest was a bin-buster, full and overflowing!
Many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to him because of the woman’s witness: ‘He knew all about the things I did. He knows me inside and out!’
They asked him to stay on, so Jesus stayed two days. A lot more people entrusted their lives to him when they heard what he had to say. They said to the woman, ‘We’re no longer taking this on your say-so. We’ve heard it for ourselves and know it for sure. He’s the Savior of the world!‘ John 4:39-42 MSG
I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily
The oak tree in my backyard has lost its leaves, shrugged them off like an old, worn-out coat,
but I remember the parade of changing color:
from green to yellow, from gold to bronze, and ending with brown.
In a few short weeks the apricot tree has turned pale yellow and orange, with a few leaves sporting red. I remember it.
I recall that this street has red maples arching overhead, so I make a point to drive this way in October.
I am thankful that the trees’ beautiful autumn colors are fixed in my mind, because I have seen up-close the way Alzheimer’s steals away memories. My father’s yesterdays fell away like the browned, oak leaves.
Even with a normally functioning memory, we tend to forget what God has done for us in the past.
Nehemiah talked to God about how his people in the past had
failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. Nehemiah 9:17 NIV
It’s so easy to mentally fold up the stories of miracles in our lives and put them away where we don’t think about them. God knows that we need help in the form of reminders.
After Joshua led Israel across the Jordan, God directed him to arrange twelve stones to help them recall what the Lord had done. The stones were to remind future Israelites about the miracle of the Jordan, which echoed the miracle at the Red Sea.
In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. Joshua 4:21-23 NIV
I remember the marvelous colors of the trees in fall, and they will be a reminder for me to think back on what God has done in my life.
Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
and give a long, loving look at your acts. Psalm 77:11,12 The Message
I am thankful for the ability to remember. Even if my mind’s memory-leaves begin to loosen and flutter to the grass, I pray the river stone monuments and sturdy oak trunks of my past will jog the memory that God is good. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
* name changed