On Friday, I got to go help my dad harvest cotton at one of his fields, and I was impressed with some of the spiritual parallels.
First, my dad asked me if I wanted to go with him to harvest. I believe that our Heavenly Father invites us to join Him in the harvest. He isn't demanding, and He doesn't crack a whip. It is an opportunity to enjoy working and fellowshipping with Him.
I rode over to the farm with my dad, and he towed a fuel trailer. Our Heavenly Father provides the way and the fuel for us to join Him in the harvest.
Over the years, my dad has trained me how to drive a tractor, run a module builder, and run a cotton stripper; this time, I learned how to operate a boll buggy. Our Heavenly Father gives us spiritual gifts, and as we work with Him in using our gifts, He grows us in maturity and proficiency in using our gifts to help build the Church.
I was running the boll buggy and the module builder while my dad was driving the cotton stripper. Sometimes my dad sends a signal letting me know what to do, like when he slightly raises his basket to indicate that he is ready for the boll buggy. It was important for me to be paying attention to where my dad was in the field and keeping track of what he was doing. I think our Heavenly Father regularly communicates to us with signs and signals, and it is important for us to be watching Him intently and anticipating what He will want us to do. For example, I think God gives us signs and signals through what other people tell us and what He reveals to us in dreams. We need to be aware and attentive.
But other times I needed to speak directly with my dad, such as in coordinating how many baskets to put on the next-to-last module so that we would have enough baskets to make the last module. I think our Heavenly Father speaks to us in our spirit when we pray and when we read the Word. It is so important that we are regularly reading and meditating on the Word, and constantly praying. I think many times, I think of "praying" as mostly "supplication", but while supplication is an important part of prayer, I have recently felt that the Lord wants me to spend more time simply talking and fellowshipping with Him.
Discussing these ideas with my father-in-law this morning, he added that there is an important aspect of me understanding my dad's plan to finish the field. As we join our Heavenly Father in the harvest, we get a picture of His vision for every tribe, tongue, and nation to recieve salvation through Jesus Christ. And participating in the harvest, we focus our lives on eternity with God, which brings us joy and significance, instead of being distracted with temporary worldly things that steal, kill, and destroy.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you for the opportunity to join you in the harvest. Thank you for your love and fellowship. Lord, please send out more workers into the harvest. I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.