All over the South, this time of year, you get the urgent sense - it's harvest time! Whether it's cotton, corn, beans, rice, cane, peanuts or sweet potatoes--it's time to get them out of the field. This nice weather is conducive for easy harvest. But manpower is what is really needed most.
As a boy on the farm, I remember November mornings - cold with much dew! Walking down a long row of dew-dripping cotton up to one's shoulder can be chilling. By the time we reached 'the far end' of the rows (so we could pick back toward the barn), we often would build a small fire to "warm up" so we could get started picking. With the Crider-pickers in the field, we were able to turn out a couple bales of cotton each week, weather permitting. There was also corn and dry peas to gather. Peanuts needed to be pulled up, stacked in 'shocks' to dry, before bringing to the barn.
But what we dreaded most was digging 'tators. Sweet potatoes seeped with white milky, sticky substance that really messed up a good Saturday morning. But it had to be done. And the rewards came on those cold winter days when we enjoyed baked potatoes topped with butter, sugar or cinnamon. Daddy loved to float a nice one in a glass of cold buttermilk. "A sweet potato-buttermilk float", he called it. Wait until one of the fast-food restaurants hears about this!
Add to this fall harvest of grain other 'farm offerings' such as pork chops, ham, beef steak, and a chicken now and then. Don't forget the hog head cheese and a few chittlins'. Now, those "poor farmers" were healed for the winter!
Yes, harvest time brought many rewards. It still does!
The Psalmist, in reference to the godly man, writes: "They are like trees along a river bank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper." (1:3) This is a parallel picture of those dedicated farmers, each year they toil hard awaiting for the harvest. They trust and pray and depend on the "Lord of harvest" to bless their efforts. They know with proper preparation, cultivation, and observing the principles of good farming, a harvest can be expected. And so it is with our labors for the Lord.
It's harvest time for souls. But unless believers do their assigned work, the harvest is going to be limited. Jesus knew the farm-language when he talked about the 'fields white unto harvest' (John 4: 35). There is a proportion of workers to harvest that is needed to get the job done. Jesus pointed out there was a great harvest "out there", but too few laborers to get the work done. That's true today when we look around at the great needs of spiritual harvest.
Yes, it's harvest time again.