Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lord of the Harvest

a crop or yield of one growing season

Standing majestically in the corner of the front yard of my childhood home was a spring blooming, summer harvested apricot tree. Each year, I would wait expectantly for fresh white blooms on stark winter branches. Mom and I would sing a song about "popcorn popping on the apricot tree." Delicious apricots were just a couple of months away, and dad and I would pick and savor them right on the lawn.

Nine years ago, or so, we planted an apricot tree in our own front yard, eager to someday have a fruity harvest to share with our own children. The growing has been slow. Each year we have pruned the straggly branches and cut back the suckers which strangely find their way into flower beds. Every spring when the "popcorn" starts popping, we are hopeful for what the summer might promise. Some years we have had just a few blooms and only a handful of fruit to show for it, and other years, cold bitter winds have swept through, blowing all the blooms to the ground, stealing our hope. Last summer, we were blessed more than we had ever been before. We took a basket outside and Josh scaled the tree branches, elated with the abundance at his fingertips.

Little did we know what the little tree would yield this year. We have the largest bumper crop I have ever seen!! Afire with plump, orange balls, the branches bow, almost buckling with their heavy offering. We have enough for ourselves, enough to bless others, and scads more. Yesterday, 2 women came to the door asking if they could purchase them. In an ironic turn, I actually know one of them, and welcomed her to take her fill. She came back with a bin, and offered suggestions on canning and freezing, so that I could later enjoy my harvest in smoothies and with toast.

Have you ever spiritually "planted" a seed, praying for it and tending to it, trusting that God will bring forth fruit? Through the years, I have often planted seeds and then struggled to rest in God's timing. I have had difficult lessons in patience and relinquishing my timing to the Ancient of Days, who stands outside of time. The God who can measure a life as a vapor or see 1,000 days as a mere 1. Sometimes, I have been discouraged as I've seen the enemy come to steal, kill and destroy life, spiritual or physical, which Jesus came to give in abundance. I become skeptical of God's timing and wonder if He truly has all in His control. I wonder these things because I am not the Lord of the Harvest... I am simply a servant girl who cannot fully see the master plan.

So I will keep praying and planting, and rest in His perfect timing, whether it is a 9 month or a 9 year growth season. And when He brings forth great harvest, I want to stand ready to rejoice, to share in His faithfulness, and to relish all He has done. He is, indeed, the Lord of the Harvest, and His timing is perfect.


nicole viola said...

What a beautiful word picture, Linda. The Lord has truly gifted you as a writer. I love how He uses real-life experiences to model spiritual lessons!!

Soderin Family said...

Your thought provoking words gave me the a good way.

So true and such a great example of the way our wonderful Creator works in our lives. We have an avocado tree in our backyard, and Eric has been loving on it since we moved in. We have yet to harvest anything at all as we can only hope that a nearby "male" tree will send a friendly bee our way to fertilize it. God's timing I guess. It's really cute to watch Eric examine the tree almost daily to look for any signs of potential fruit.

Oh, apricots are my favorite, so if you need to get rid of any fruit. I am willing to take! :)

Rob, Kelly, and Bennett said...

This was SO encouraging-not to mention beautifully written! I came back to read it a second time; thank you for the reminder. I feel I have learned this lesson approximately four thousand six hundred and eighty two times, and yet I find myself thinking the Lord lost track of time with every new trial. Waiting seems to be my least favorite (and most common) form of suffering. God is so incredibly faithful, though. Anyway, thanks again; I needed to be reminded that He stands outside of time.

Anna Hosking said...

Thanks for such a fantastic post. It has blessed my day.

And thanks to you and Patrick for your encouraging words the other day. Getting the house has flipped this light-switch on inside of RJ and he is suddently much more ready for kids than ever before. Once again, God's perfect timing.

Linda Z said...

Thank you so much for all your sweet words!! It's so neat to see how the Lord used this, and I'm so encouraged to write more!

Nicole, glad to see your smiling face!! :)

Drea, you are welcome to the apricots if there are any more left!! We've been out of town, and we told the neighbors to help themselves!

Kelly... the precise number of your trials is cracking me up!! :)

Anna, I can't wait to see how the Lord continues to work in your life!

Eli & Mandy Stewart said...

amen, amen and amen! What an encouragement and tangible reminder! on another note, you should get into canning if you haven't it's so much fun and a homemaking art of the past.

Denise said...

i do not like to wait for the harvest! i doubt as i wait. and i am always surprised and in awe at it's coming.
beautiful post. i taste apricot cobbler in your future.

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