The Harvest is Great
November 22, 2019
Brodie Croyle, Executive Director
The Parable of the Growing Seed illustrates beautifully the job in front of us each day at Big Oak. In Mark 4:26-29, Jesus says, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” In this ministry, there are children in whom we might not see fruit. We prepare the soil. We place seed after seed. We are intentional about doing so in the right climate and environment for it to receive water and sun. We fight weeds threatening to choke out progress. And to our physical eye…sometimes nothing. Nothing immediate, anyway. There are some in which we have the honor of seeing the seed produce the stalk, then maybe the head. There are some in whom we see a bountiful harvest and it brings us to our knees right before we rise to celebrate what Christ alone has done. All the while, we trust the promise that His Word will not return void.
As scripture speaks to a harvest rooted in good soil of thirty, sixty or a hundred times what was sown, we continue to evaluate our definition of the harvest and apply the scriptural truth in its place. What we see in so many lives is God’s promise revealed and a display of harvest beyond anything we could hope for. Yes, many of our kids receive their Savior. Yes, many find healing. But, 45 years into this, we are seeing three generations rich with young men and women, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers who have taken the ancient ruins of broken cycles and built homes and families full of love. As we scan in our memories the days and minutes which have culminated into three generations of people, we realize once again that the difficult work involved in caring for the crop is not an end to His promise, but is just the beginning of a great harvest.
In Isaiah 55, God says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” We often come to the table with our idea of the harvest, what we think it will be, with our limitations, our own plan and timeframe. But God graciously reminds us that we are seed sowers and that despite our inability to understand what will return, God and His divine authority does.