This time of the year is my favorite time of the year as the weather cools, leaves change colors, and the air turns crisp. For some reason I tend to also have an insatiable appetite for food when the weather starts cooling. I think maybe God designed me for some level of hibernation. The urge to snack and eat more food is only held in check by the desire for my jeans to still fit next spring.
The other thing I love about fall is the harvest season. I have never lived on a farm, but there is nothing like the scene of a combine in a field bringing in the harvest on a sunny fall day. Even though I don't directly benefit from the harvest of grain, I find satisfaction in watching the annual cycle of planting, growing, and harvesting.
Jesus was in a situation one day that involved satisfying His appetite and the harvest. He was sitting at a well in Samaria waiting on His disciples to bring lunch back when He got into a conversation with a woman that resulted in a whole town hearing about Jesus.
When the disciples came back Jesus told them that He didn't even need the food because He had been filled by doing what His Father sent Him to do. The disciples were confused, but Jesus just told them to lift up their eyes because the spiritual fields were ripe for harvest. The harvest of souls was burning on His heart and saving people filled Him at a level that physical food couldn't reach.
A lot of time has passed since that day, but there is still a world around us that is ripe for harvest. Like the disciples, our focus gets narrowed down to meeting our wants and needs to the point that we don't see the harvest in front of our eyes. I think that if Jesus was talking to us today, He'd probably tell us to "lift up our eyes" and see the harvest around us.
My prayer for us is this:
"Lord, open our eyes to the harvest of souls all around us. Help us to see the people around us the same way that you see them and feel the same way that you feel about them. Don't let us live our lives blinded to the needs of those around us. Give us the opportunities to make a difference in each of their lives and let us live to see a great harvest of souls for Your Kingdom!"