Thankful For the Harvest

Just a little note to let you know that this post is actually the article I sent out in NightLight’s April newsletter.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.  Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.  I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

-John 4:31-38

I’ve been stuck on the truth in this passage for the past six months. Since we first publicly launched the Branson location, we have found so much favor. Whether it’s with volunteers, with club owners and managers, or with other organizations, so many connections have just “happened” to fall into our lap. The prideful side of me would love to think that this has something to do with me. But this passage tells me something different. It tells me that I probably have nothing to do with the fruit I harvest, whether in my personal life or as part of this ministry. Instead, this fruit comes from work that other people in the body of Christ have done before me. When we reap a harvest, it is because someone else has sown out of obedience before us, and when we sow, we should do so with hopeful expectation that someone else will harvest what we sow.

Interestingly, the passage above comes immediately after a conversation Jesus had with a Samaritan woman about how true worship should really look. I believe the proximity of these stories is no coincidence. Rarely do we get to see the fruits of our own labor. Often, this can be discouraging. We want results—immediately and in large amounts.  When we don’t see them, we get discouraged.  Why? Because our focus is on ourselves rather than on kingdom things, which often require legacy to create. And this is one way the enemy distracts us from true worship; how he can keep us from hope and joy. You see, hope and joy are found when we drink from the eternal water that Jesus provides. We find joy when we humbly receive and harvest the fruit of someone else’s labor. We find hope when we sow out of obedience to our Father, because we expect Him to do something extraordinary with the little we have to offer. This is what true worship is. We worship in spirit and truth when we hear the voice of our Father, respond in obedience to His voice, and give Him the glory for the fruits harvested. True worship is when we can sit in the knowledge that the fruit harvested is a gift from a holy God who loves us so passionately, and respond with thankfulness.

I am so thankful for the things people have done to sow into our ministry: the financial gifts given, the seeds planted in the girls working in the sex industry, the people who have helped pour into me and our team. Some of these things started a long time ago, and some have just started, but all of them have affected eternity. So now I ask you to sow again into what we are doing. Sow with your time, your talents, and your finances. I can make no promises on what the harvest will look like. I have no idea when it will come, how much will be harvested, or the circumstances surrounding it. But I can honestly say with great expectation that God will multiply what you sow and do something incredible for His kingdom with what you have to offer. How will you invest in the harvest?

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