By Amy McCollom
Harvest time. I was headed north, and the tall buff corn that had been there two days earlier in the field along the highway was now cut down. Here today, gone tomorrow, a vapor in the wind, so to speak. As the wheels of my van whirred down the road, the landscape made subtle changes over the miles, and the shifting of seasons became unapologetically apparent. Fall was pushing in abruptly. I only closed my eyes for a second and time passed so quickly…where did September go?
The fields hadn’t been dry all that long, and now they are being harvested, gone for another year, leaving bare ground with a short buzz-cut. Like the whole earth is getting ready to battle winter. A new recruited army of empty fields all looking alike now, hunkered down to withstand the onslaught of the forces of nature, wind, and ice.
In one of the ditches that I passed lay a dead female deer that had apparently been struck by a vehicle. It’s tawny pelt matched the color of the dry tan corn that had stood in the field next to it. I felt an overwhelming wave of sadness; it started in my throat and moved up into my head, as it happens when I try to fight back tears. That poor sweet creature. Probably never knew what hit it.
I said a little prayer in my head for that little dear one who had died, because I felt bad that it didn’t get to live it’s full life. But God said, “Why are you sad over this deer? All things I make come back to me. Yet, the harvest of man is ripe and ready, yet you don’t feel sorrow for the many who are struck down daily, who are lost. You prayed for boldness to witness and bring in a harvest, and I will give you that boldness through the Holy Spirit, just as you have asked. Yet you have more sorrow for a deer who has no choice but to return to me, than you have for a field of souls that need to be harvested for me. The fields are ripe for the harvest. Go forth boldly, as now is the time to harvest the lost, and I will send my Holy Spirit to help you.”
I felt very convicted after that. I remembered that prayer for more boldness that I had prayed. Was I serious when I had prayed it, or caught up in the moment? I had better have been serious. God doesn’t play games, and neither should we.
Then I felt overwhelmed with compassion and a burden for souls. I began thinking of all the people I know or have met that aren’t following Jesus, and how I should have said something. It was kind of like being one of a few people who know the way out of a burning building, yet not telling anybody else about it. I envisioned a skyscraper and a bunch of people having parties on the upper floors, totally unaware of the fire blazing the entire bottom floors of the building. Fire was coming, death was coming, but the people kept laughing and dancing. Yet there I was in the cool stairway, not saying anything. I can’t do that. I have to tell somebody. I have to lead some people to safety before it’s ever too late. God needs people who will speak up in this day and hour and show the world there is a way out of their troubles. It’s only through Jesus that we can be saved.
God doesn’t wish for anyone to perish, but that all might be saved. But like I used to tell my kids when they were little and getting in ten kinds of trouble (painting the dog, tying their baby brother to a tree, french-kissing their babysitter), I don’t want to have to punish you, but you leave me no choice. God feels the same way. Repent now, or feel the wrath.
We should all be learning about Jesus like our life depends on it, because it does. What if there’s a test to get into Heaven? Could you name the books of the Bible in order? Could your children? Who was Esther? Who was Naomi? Who killed Goliath? Who bore David’s armor? Why weren’t unicorns on the ark? Just kidding (they were I think, they are just hiding now, that’s my theory.)
If we claim to be followers of Jesus then we should know more about Him than we do our favorite sports team. Are we serious about our Christianity or is it a hobby to make us feel good on Sunday morning? If we really believe that Jesus saves us from eternal damnation then we should be yelling it from the rooftops like we would in a fire-enraged building to save people from a horrible death.
Be bold, whether running to Jesus or harvesting the lost. Time is running out. Soon life will draw to a close, winter’s chill will stop growth, and all will be silent. Work while it is still day. It’s harvest time.
So with boldness, I implore you to look inside yourselves, and make your calling sure. Know ye this day whom ye will serve. Is it the world, or God?