Monday, March 8, 2010

Season 3 - the Fall of our Lives

To me Fall is a beautiful time of year. Living here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountians the colors this time of year can be spectacular.  I say can be: because the color of the leaves in fall depend on many of the conditions of the summer.Those conditions affect not only the colors of the leaves, but the fruit that comes from those trees and bushes as well.

 If there has been too little or too much rain, the colors are not as brilliant and the fruits can be few or not have good flavor or texture. Too much heat can bring problems to the fruit the tree bears and even affect the  condition of the tree. So you could say that the experiences and bounty of the fall depend greatly on what happens during the summer.

And so it is with the fall of your life. You hardly notice that you may be getting a little slower in your steps, there is so much still to do. You look around and your children are making their own decisions and starting into their own careers, their own schooling or their own families. This is the time when you will begin to see some of the fruits of your labor- for good or bad.

There are many verses in the Bible that teach of the sowing and reaping process, or for those not familiar with farming terms, God tells us that it is a fact of nature that if you plant corn,you can expect corn to come up. If you plant onions, you can be sure you won't be gathering roses from them,and that the amount of effort a person puts into their farming- how well you watch over and care for your crops- will determine what the outcome or the harvest will be.
"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully." Galatians 6:7
 Although throughout the summer of your life you may have planted, or made decisions, about some things and you had an immediate harvest, or result;  the fall of life will be where the major harvest time begins for you.
This is the time when you will be able to see if you wisely put enough time and effort into the things that matter in life, or wasted that time on those things that do not.

 If you continue reading that passage in Galations on harvest time, you will see that God follows it with a warning in verse eight:
"Be not decieved; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

It is in the next verse that He explains just what it is that he is talking about so there is no mistake. He tells you that if you live your life, thinking solely of yourself and how it will benefit you:  living  "in the moment" as I heard it called by a teenage unwed mother, then you will reap the harvest of your thoughtlessness. And ,as with this teenage girl, it always will affect more than just you. It will affect those around you as well. Her decision 'of the moment' affects a mother whose dreams for her daughter are drastically changed forever, there are the relationships of friends and family that change.The girl herself will change forever: whether she decides to have the baby and take on the responsibility of caring for it; or whether she decides to listen to the modern day teachings of abortion that promises to free her from the cares of responsibility, but fail to tell her of the high cost of guilt and loss that come with it.
Even if she decides to keep the child and raise it herself in love, she has a child that does not have the stablizing effect of a father in the home. Everyone loses something. It is the law of the harvest when you sow sparingly without thinking of the outcome.

Then later in verse 10 Jesus gives you a promise. In this promise He is speaking from the wisdom of experience. He is telling you that He knows life is not easy. He knows that making good sound decisions is hard at times and you may just want to run and hide from the responsibilities of the "summer". That is why verse 10 is so important:
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

Did you catch that?  'In due season'  God is saying: Yes, I know all this work is hard, and there are times you will not feel like going on. I have been there, done that, and got the T-shirt. (to put it in modern vernacular)
When I was in the garden of Gethsemane I was so tired! My strength was gone, I knew I had the hardest part ahead of me, and I needed help. I could not do it on my on, I turned to my heavenly Father for help and He gave me the strength to finish the work. I could have walked away right there, I could have said: "this is too hard", but I looked down the road to the harvest time and saw my reward. I saw you, and God gave me strength to continue. He'll do the same for you.
 Ask for help to continue to have the strength to work that field you have chosen, and God who is the "Lord of the harvest"(Matt. 9:38) will answer you.
The fall season of your life will be a more secure time if you remember the laws of harvest; and include the One who knows best as your councellor and guide.

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