Harvest Time Down South

 cup of coffeeBy J-100 Editor at large

Well, you can tell by the pictures it’s harvest time in the South. This is one of my favorite times of the year for several reasons. Cooler weather, we can start opening windows and let nature cool our homes. This may sound strange to some of you, but unless you have lived in the Deep South, it is hard to fathom how hot and humid our summers can be. Now the leaves start turning color, and we feel the crispness in the air. For many, deer season is right around the corner, and the money crops are getting ready for harvest. In our area those are cotton, soybeans, and corn, usually in that order, depending on the markets that year. And maybe for just a few, college football is now in full swing. Oh, I must admit I follow SEC football, but over time, I have come to realize that after all, it is just a game, and not nearly as important as I used to think it was.

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The pictures you see are cotton being harvested from our neighbor’s field next to our house. We don’t do the “big farming” anymore. It has become so specialized and expensive to buy the necessary equipment that much of the farmable land is rented out to the big farmers who own and rent thousands of acres from numerous small farms.

As I was writing this article I realized that “Harvest Time” may mean many things to many different people, but as a Christian, this time of the year should be so much more. I counted 60 times* where the word “harvest” is used throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

I find it comforting to know that we will always have a harvest time while on this side of eternity. God made this promise to Noah and all generations after the flood. Gen 8:22 “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

Scripture uses the word “harvest” in many different contexts, and I would encourage the reader to explore this topic as it is rich with God’s teachings and his character.

When I see the cotton fields being harvested I am reminded of Jesus teaching in John 4, when he encountered the woman at the well, and the lessons he taught his disciples:

John 4:35  “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. “

One of the commentators summed up this lesson by these beautiful words:

“ Men are entirely dependent on the appointed season of harvest.They cannot by any effort make it come a day sooner. It comes according to fixed laws. Not so the spiritual harvest. The servants of God, under him, may bring about a harvest of souls at any time. The Divine Spirit quickens and causes souls to grow and ripen through our earnest and faithful efforts. He blesses our earnest labour, so that the spiritual harvest is not limited by seasons and climates, but is carried on continually as we labour. There are fields ever white to harvest.”

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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