The Harvest is Ripe

Joel 3:13

Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe…

As September winds down and October comes upon us, we begin to think of the harvest.    For farmers, this means going into the fields and orchards, gathering and storing.  For those who live in cities and towns, harvest season is not nearly so close and personal, and often may be only a time for putting up new decorations, or a time to rake the lawn clear of the leaves that are falling.

Perhaps it is also a season for reflection, a chance to look back, to evaluate our own individual harvest or blessings, to prepare ourselves for to give thanks.

I looked back to last year and saw a year of upheaval and natural disaster. Over 220,000 fatalities worldwide from hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other natural forces in 2008.  Only two years  since 1900 (1995 and 2005) when such records began to be kept,  has more damage ocurred.

Hurricane Ike was one of those natural disasters to affect me directly.  At the time, it was a relief just to know that everyone in my family was safe and without injury.  Then the immensity of the damages to my home, my neighborhood, my community and the entire area covered by the storm began to settle in.

It seems 2009 has been substantially milder in the natural disaster arena,  if only to be shaken up by government shouts of economic disaster in place of some other headline in the news.  Drought, fires, earthquakes and other similar situations surely have continued, and likely will continue.  Joel describes rather vividly much of the disaster to come.

Certainly, the opportunities to serve the Lord have been many. 

Each time a helpful hand is extended in the name of Jesus, a seed is planted, nurtured, and prepared for harvest.