We’ve come to the end of harvest here in the heartland—one that followed an especially difficult growing season where the temperatures were the hottest on record and the rain never fell. Shereen (the farmer’s wife) told us last week about how she and her husband stood in one of their soybean fields and wondered if there would be any crop at all. The plants they saw did not look promising. But being farmers, they did what farmers do. They climbed into their combines and went to work and, against all odds, God brought the harvest.
Ever feel that way in your own life? Maybe you’re there now—smack dab in the middle of a difficult growing season, struggling to keep pressing on. Maybe you’re dealing with a chronic illness, a difficult person, a broken relationship . . . maybe you have lost all hope of there ever being a harvest. I love these words from Psalm 126:
And now, God, do it again—bring rains to our drought-stricken lives, so those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, so those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing. (vs. 4-6 The Message)
Don’t you long for that right now? The shouts of joy that come from a long-awaited harvest?
But as any farmer will tell you, a harvest requires two important ingredients. First you need faith—faith to plant the seed in the first place . . . faith to keep believing in the midst of storms or drought or disease . . . faith to roll into the field in your combine when nothing around you looks the least bit promising.
And secondly, you need patience. That’s the tough one, isn’t it? Because many times the growing season seems Far. Too. Long.
So where does the farmer get his faith and patience? He remembers the previous harvest. . . . And the one before that. . . . And the one before that.
The first part of Psalm 126 is full of good memories: “It seemed like a dream, too good to be true . . . We laughed, we sang . . . God was wonderful to us” (vs. 1-3 The Message).The Jewish people were remembering how God had restored them from exile in Babylon. The memory of God’s goodness—God’s faithfulness in the past—gives them the courage to dream of future blessing . . . of a harvest of laughter when the circumstances offer no hope.
Are you struggling through a difficult growing season right now?
Remember past victories and believe that God will DO IT AGAIN!