In the Villages: The Harvest is PlentifulMonday, March 23, 2015
“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:37-38).
A few years ago we bought this banner at a Christian scroll shop in China. It contains the Mandarin translation of Matthew 9:37-38 along with a painting of Chinese farmers bringing in the harvest.
The banner reminds me of a solemn, joyful truth. The harvest is plentiful all over the world. Right now, while you are reading these words, the harvest is plentiful in Finland, Slovenia, Thailand, Paraguay, Bangladesh, Iran, Libya, and, yes, the harvest is vast in China.
The problem has never been with the harvest. The problem is with the workers. We don’t have enough of them. We’ve got good workers, hard workers, dedicated workers, kind, sincere, Christ-loving, gospel-preaching, Spirit-filled workers. We just don’t have enough of them. So the harvest rots in the field because there are not enough workers. What should we do about it?
Our way and God’s way are not the same way. We want to organize to get more workers for the harvest field, but Jesus said, “Pray earnestly.”
First we pray. Then we preach.
First we pray. Then we organize.
First we pray. Then we go.
Prayer comes first because the harvest belongs to the Lord. It is quite literally his harvest. He knows where the harvest is, he knows when it is coming in, he knows how many workers are needed, and he knows who is needed and when and where.
As we think about the worldwide harvest, remember that Jesus is Lord of China, he is Lord of Peru, he is Lord of Uganda, and he is Lord of Vietnam. All the nations are his. So, then, let us pray with great confidence to the Lord of the harvest that he might send forth more workers. While we are at it, let’s ask the Lord to send us anywhere we might be useful to help bring the harvest in.
Lord of the nations, we see the vast harvest before us, ripening every day in every nation. Raise up workers for the harvest fields around the world. Send us anywhere you need us to help bring your harvest in. Amen.