DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Final harvest
Is it really November? It is getting dark awfully early. While I really enjoy the cooler temperatures of fall and the beautiful leaves, I really don’t like the shorter days. We will get a reprieve from the darkness when everyone gets their Christmas lights up, which will probably be in a couple of weeks. I always feel like the year picks up speed as we hit November. There is always so much to do, but I imagine COVID will put the brakes on that, too.
The recent cold spell put an end to the gardening season. I need the rest and a chance for the weeds to die back. It’s time to regroup and make plans for next year. I did go out and pick my final harvest. I picked a bowl full of cherry tomatoes that might last until Christmas. We harvested some butter beans and I dug my sweet potatoes. I even picked some late raspberries.
The big wind from the…how many hurricanes did we get this year? Anyway, the wind blew down some beautiful sunflowers that were growing. I am not sure the seeds were completely formed. They were a nice fall treat this year. The fall corn I had hoped for was stunted, blown down and what little grew was eaten by the squirrels. We need some hawks to help reduce the surplus of squirrels in our area.
There were some successes and some letdowns in the garden this year, but that’s normal. Gardening is about getting out there working the soil and hoping for a harvest. Something you grow always tastes better than anything from the store. So I will soon begin dreaming about what I will try to grow next year, but for now, I will enjoy the rest.
The goal of sowing seed is to receive a harvest. I believe if we all stepped back and looked at the people we know we would discover people who are in various stages of the gardening season. I imagine each of us knows people who have never considered the need for a savior. They lead broken lives and don’t know that there is a God in heaven who loves them. These people need a gardener to sow some seeds of faith in their lives.
All of us know people who once had a vibrant faith, but the weeds of the world have stunted their growth and threaten to crush their hope. These people need a gardener to pull the weeds of worry, fear, doubt, anger and disappointment out of their lives. They need someone to come along and water their lives with faith, hope and love. Sometimes the weeds become so overwhelming that we need help to break free.
Many people have been cut off due to COVID. They have stopped attending church or even watching their services online. When we become disconnected it is easy to become discouraged. The walk of faith is challenging in the best of times. Losing connection and the opportunity to challenge and encourage each other can cause our spiritual growth to become weak. We have to work if we want to stay connected. I need you and you need me if we are hoping to maintain our faith and grow spiritually.
Finally, there are people in all our lives who are ready to meet Jesus. They have looked in all the wrong places for the peace they deeply desire. They may have attended church at one point in their lives, but have never made a personal commitment. They need to hear the truth that God loves them unconditionally. They need someone to do the honor of introducing them to Jesus, to let them know they are invited in no matter what they have done.
I believe that Jesus needs you and me now more than ever to help him work in His garden. There are souls that need to be harvested, hearts that need to be healed, broken lives that need His healing touch and people who need to hear the good news for the first time. Jesus is dependent upon each of us doing our part to help.
I want to encourage you to open your eyes and see the people in your life that are waiting to hear a word from you. Some need a life preserver, while others may just need a little word of encouragement. Jesus needs you to do your part, especially now in these crazy times we find ourselves living in.
We know the power of faith, hope and love to change lives. Be willing and available to God and I believe you will make a difference in someone’s life this week.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.