By faith I go
By faith I can
Yes I will
I’ll follow Your plan
The Hebrew month of Elul is quickly coming to a close. The season of our Repentance should be producing a field ready to sow. What do you want next years harvest to produce? Plowing, planting and waiting on harvest is very hard work. If you are being stretched, The Lord may be preparing you. He may actually be strengthening you. Harvest is not a season for the faint hearted. Jesus said , “The Sower sowed the word.” In Hebrew that literally is “God decreed a thing.” I want my field and my heart to be good ground and produce a harvest, some thirty, some sixty some one hundred fold. What size harvest are we preparing for?
Because I know
You beckon me
I will come away
Return to see
Fear on the inside
Muffles a scream
What if I can’t
Is this just a dream?
Then I remember
Straighten to steady myself
It is in You alone scripture says
My soul finds rest
If I don’t follow
How will I grow
I’ll push in and continue
And study to show
Lord order my steps
I’ll let go and trust
Yes, simply believe today
By faith I go
By faith I can
Yes I will
I’ll follow Your plan
Poem written by laurette laster © 2017
Psalm 62:5 (NLT)
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.
Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Poem by Laurette Laster © 2017
A few years ago Greg and I went to Circle N Diary, for some fresh milk. On our way we noticed several plowed fields. I turned to Greg and said; “Remember how The Lord showed us, referring to the plowed field, this is a perfect picture of the season of repentance? This plowing of the fields shows us how to do the work for preparing our hearts during Teshuvah.” The season of Teshuvah is leading into Yom Teruah or Day of Shouting, also known as Rosh Hashanah, and then to Yom Kippur. We reminisced about a few years ago at this same time when Greg was working in Celina TX. By visiting and returning to rural areas, we are reminded of process and the importance of process.
In our quick fix, microwave societies many people may not understand the concept of ‘process’. Seedtime and harvest are the measurable process in the kingdom of God. Today we may be led to think more along the lines of keep the seed-just give me my drive through harvest. Without the process of seed and time there is no Harvest. God doesn’t skip important steps nor does He allow us to. If we were allowed to skip over this process we would not be able to relate to The Sower. If we skip the ‘seedtime’ step it will eliminate and nullify the entire process.
Plowing is very hard work. Often in Christianity and as Christians we get so excited about reaping a harvest that we forget the hard work and the nourishment and rest required to bring in the harvest. I have a few fond memories from years ago that I believe will describe the hard work of harvest time.
From the time I was five until I turned twenty two, my mother owned and operated her own restaurant. Our family worked at the restaurant on and off throughout our lives. In late summer one year when I was about seven, my brother, got a job hauling hay. This was before the invention of round balers and the large road bale trailers. This was during the time when workers literally bent over and picked the bale up off the ground, and tossed the bales onto the trailer. The bales typically weighed between fifty to one hundred pounds. This was a job that got you fit and strong for sure. There would be workers on the trailer responsible for stacking the hay. When the trailer was stacked high and wide all the workers accompanied the full trailer to the barn. Then the process was repeated in the opposite order. The bales would tossed off the trailer where other workers would then begin to stack the bales in the barn. From the beginning with cutting, to drying, to baling and then the hauling and stacking the hay in the barn were all crucial stages of the hay harvest. Once they were baled getting them out of the field and into the barn needed to happen quickly. You sure didn’t want it to rain on your baled hay. The workers were paid by the bale, so the quicker the job was done the sooner they had cash in their pockets. Farmers wanted workers who he could count on to work quickly.
When hay hauling season started, my brother and another worker would come to the restaurant for breakfast each morning before going to the hay field. I remember as a little girl watching them eat. My grandmother was the cook this particular summer at my moms restaurant, so see would “make sure those boys were fed good.” When my brother and the other hay haulers began for the day, they didn’t eat again until the work day was over. So eat they did, for sure. My brother’s breakfast consisted of about eight slices of bacon, six fried eggs, a large mound of hash browns and six to eight pieces of buttered and jellied toast. I ask him one time. how can you eat all that? He replied, “Hauling hay is hard work and we will not eat again until late tonight.” I know he was telling me the truth because I actually helped in the hay field one summer while in high school. Harvest in hard work.
Repentance is cleansing our souls and preparing our hearts for a large harvest that is pleasing to God. We are breaking up fallow ground in order to plow and thus uproot any dead or useless roots. When we see a plowed field we know it is time to sow the field. We can trust the knowledge of the farmer, because he is investing his time and is financially responsible for the field. We can trust that agriculturally it is time to replant the field. Timing is everything. We know a prudent farmer knows when it is time to sow seeds for a new harvest.
Even if we produced and reaped a good crop last year, we still must prepare and ready our field (heart) for this seasons planting.
Rosh Hashanah is known as head of the year in the agricultural season. This day it is said is the day the books in heaven are opened and examined. God takes out the books to read and makes decisions concerning our destiny for the upcoming year. Our reward for the coming year based on last year’s crop, success or failures. It is believed during the Ten Days of Awe we can do charity and change the results of last year before He closes the books and seals our destiny for the upcoming twelve months. We understand that in Christ we are forgiven but that does not eliminate reaping what has been sown. Bad seed, bad harvest. I pray we plow under any crop failures and useless foliage that is taking up space in our field and receive new seeds and plant for new and exciting harvests.
I pray this past year has yielded a great fruit harvest. As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah and the Feast of Ingathering we need fruit. What will be in gathering if there hasn’t been a bountiful harvest? Many of our holiday traditions in the United States of America come from the Fall Feast of God. We will be looking at these soon.
So let’s explore this a little more deeply. Teshuvah m’ahavah, turning from love of – what?
Rabbi Toba Spitzer
What did we turn away from? In the traditional commentaries, the answer is: love of God. In this understanding, sins are those things which estrange us from the sacred, which create a sense of alienation from that which is Ultimate and good. We become estranged from our own Godly nature, and from our divine Source. We experience a kind of hunger in our souls, a profound sense of spiritual alienation and distance from the divine. Teshuvah from love is motivated by that hunger and that thirst, a yearning for intimacy with God. As the great medieval philosopher and rabbi, Maimonides, wrote in his Mishneh Torah:
“Teshuvah is great because it brings a person close to the Shekhina, to God’s Presence in the world…Teshuvah brings close those who are far off.” (Hilchot Teshuvah 7:6)
Don’t miss the season of Teshuvah.
Teshuvah is truly my favorite time of the year.
Once a field has been plowed and planted with new seed, this freshly planted field hungers and thirsts to be watered. So it is with us!
Let us pray
Dear Heavenly Father, I now understand this unquenchable thirst and this hunger is from You and is Your doing. I realize this is You drawing me to You. This yearning to uproot the things of the world and get them away from me and to plant truth is from You. It is Your pure love for me allowing me to sense and know a change is near. As I have been uprooting dead works and preparing my heart during this season of Teshuvah, I realize it is time to think about future crops. Show me Lord what You have for me. I want to plant what You desire, show me what pleases You, Lord Jesus. I want a hunger and thirst that only You can satisfy. I turn away from ‘diet drinks and sugary sweet drinks, empty calories’ so I will crave only living water. I realize the things of the world only leave me empty and wanting more. Jesus I want living water so that I never thirst again. A water that is available through relationship only. No more religion Jesus, I want a real and lasting relationship with You. I desire a genuine relationship that will cause others to hunger and thirst for You. Show me Your glory. Amen.
God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.
Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette