For years I’ve been an avid gardener. I love absolutely everything about it; tilling the fresh soil, preparing the beds, carefully choosing the plants and diagramming their pending location. I love the newness and resiliency of spring as it stubbornly, yet gracefully, replaces winter’s harshness. I love the eventual satisfaction of covering the last delicate seed with dirt and then stepping back to survey the tidy beds quietly concealing the new life within. In short, planting, growing, harvesting, and preserving the garden’s bounty are sources of deep joy in my life and something I begin to look forward to the moment I put the beds to rest for the winter.
One particular summer, however, at peak “harvest” I unexpectedly needed to undergo wrist surgery which rendered me in an above elbow cast for six weeks. I was unprepared for how much more time my daily tasks would require, including gardening, and since I’m still learning to ask for help (as in I’m really super, SUPER, terrible at it), my garden ran largely untended for several weeks. The result: complete and total messy, overgrown, can’t-find–the-produce-in-the-weeds-to save-my-soul, CHAOS.
Suffice it to say, at that point, I was pretty much over that year’s gardening experience. Over. It.
I found myself staring at the mess and remembering the verse: “…The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37) Or in that case: the worker was one, in a giant cast.
And then it occurred to me: if I was overwhelmed at my untended garden, then possibly I should give more than a cursory glance at the compassionate, urgent plea that Jesus gave His disciples when those words were first uttered in reference to actual human souls.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)
Our world needs hope. Our political and societal landscape can seem bleak and overwhelming. At times I can feel too tired, too inadequate, too busy, too insecure, too overwhelmed to take any of it on. The reality is, when we look at the full scope of need all over our planet it IS too much to take on. However, as Andy Stanley once said, each one of us can choose to, “Do for one what we wish we could do for everyone”. We can individually ask God to give us His vision for the world around us and the people He’s already placed in our lives.
Jesus is the hope of the world. Would you join me in daily asking for Him to give us His compassion, His heart, and a readiness and willingness to respond as He would? I believe that if we each, through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, commit to loving like He loved and living like He lived, we can make a huge difference in our homes, work spaces, and communities. Let's be the change we want to see. Let's represent Christ in a compelling and winsome way knowing He is the remedy for all that we face.