In Your Own Words: Laboring in the Fields and Harvesting Souls
Readers were asked to answer these questions:
“Have you ever labored in the fields?
What do you remember about harvest time and how does it relate to harvesting souls?”
I grew up on a farm. My dad grew cotton, peanuts, corn etc. We were also expected to help in the vegetable garden. We had nine children in our family (not all home at the same time). Once our crops were in, we would meet with other farmers and help them as well.
There are so many ways to compare harvest time with harvesting souls. As our peanuts would grow we were expected to dig the weeds out to prevent them from choking the peanut vines. If the vines were not weed free the yield was much smaller. We can compare the harvesting of the peanuts to the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8. As long as the above example was weeded and taken care of it produced 100 fold. If we let the weeds take control the yield was much less. My dad was there as the inspector. God is our inspector. In order to please Him we must stay on task to prevent the loss of souls.
We also helped pull the cotton when I was very young. We put on our gloves and pulled our sacks through the rows to gather the cotton. I can remember lying down on my sack and scratching my nose to make it bleed so my dad would allow me to go home. I could fool my dad but we can not fool our Father in Heaven. We are guilty of the same actions in our adult responsibilities. We can compare my actions to the two sons in Matt. 21:29. I put my gloves on and went but had no plans to work when I arrived. With this attitude we will not be successful in gathering souls.
We lived a self‐sufficient life style on the farm. We cannot live a self‐sufficient life without obeying the commands of our Lord. We must go out to harvest. The Lord will provide the souls.
By Mary Stonebarger
Our family did have a large garden. Dad had all of the family involved in planting, weeding, and harvesting our garden. There are two things I remember about harvest time. First, my dad kept a watchful eye on the garden to see when it was time to pick. Second was the preparation of the supplies that were needed to freeze or can the vegetables.
My dad’s watchful eye on our garden could relate to our being watchful and searching for opportunities to share God’s Word. The preparation of supplies before we processed the gathered food is likened to our being prepared before we encounter those opportunities.
Our garden was a lot of work, but we all realized the benefit when it was time to eat.
by Susan Carter
When I was about six years old, my grandmother had cotton fields next to her home. We were thrilled as youngsters to help pick cotton. Our cotton bags were about a third of the size of the regular bags pulled by the cotton pickers. When we finished, we took our bags to the scales which were on the back of a truck. We got paid by the pound. Needless to say, we didn’t get rich. As young children, my sisters and I weren’t required to work in the fields, we did it for fun. When we grew tired, or wanted to do something else, we quit working. As to how this relates to harvesting souls today, many of us are like children, when we grow tired or something distracts us from our goal, we quit. We should keep in mind that not only are we reaping a harvest, but the reward is great!
by Kathy Medford
I only “Helped” as a child with my mom. I remember walking down the rows of cotton with a hoe in hand. I think I chopped down more cotton than weeds but I was helping…. so I thought! It was hot and took lots of time to chop cotton. The plants would grow and the field turn white. Then Pappy would fix me a cotton sack….made out of a feed sack, so I could pick cotton for him when it was time to harvest. It was just my size. I remember playing in between the rows and sitting and drinking water in the shade in the field. We had a good time working and playing together. As I grew older, I realized the importance of chopping out the weeds so the tender plants could grow and produce. So it is with harvesting souls. The tender souls (babes in Christ) need lots of care. We need to keep the weeds away from them so they can grow strong and develop into strong Christians. Then, they too, can labor and play in the harvesting of more Christian souls.
By Judy Finney