Field Workers

August 28, 2017
by Jane deGlint

Matthew 9:37-38 – Then [Jesus] said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (NIV)

This summer, I had an opportunity to visit my friend who, with her husband, volunteers at a Christian retreat camp as caretaker. As we casually strolled over the rolling property, she pointed to a wooded area down the hill. "That's the orchard," she explained. However, I did not see an orchard. "Where?" I asked. Again, she pointed at the wooded area. But looking down, I saw only a field that was overgrown with lush weeds and tall bushes. "Is that an orchard?" I wondered out loud. "Yes," my friend reassured me, "but the weeds have taken over. No one had time to maintain it. By now, it has become impossible to pick the apples." Then I saw. The fruit trees looked like mere bushes amidst the lavish weeds.

On the drive home, I had time to process the haunting impression that the overgrown orchard had left with me. How many figurative orchards that I should have looked after are overgrown with weeds? How many spiritual fields that I should have harvested have become inaccessible due to my negligence? I could think of a few. I have taken detours around people whom I know very well, but whose burdens seem too painful for me to share. Rather than helping them with their burdens and sharing the hope of Jesus, I stayed in my comfort zone. Paralyzed by insecurities, I have walked away from people who were receptive to the good news of Jesus. There are still other persistent weeds that prevent me from being effective in the field during the time of harvest.

These painful considerations made me realize how dependent we field workers are on the power of the Lord of the harvest. There are willing workers, but many are ineffective. They are sidetracked by other duties. They lack the strength to withstand the heat of the day and the exhaustion of the late afternoon.

But the Lord of the harvest is keen to answer their prayers for support. He removes their weakness when they remember His strength. He makes the weeds of unproductiveness disappear when they focus on His harvest. When they are labouring in the field, they notice how many people are working beside them. To their joy and relief, they realize that neither the accessibility of the harvest nor the number of field workers depend on them.

The most wonderful truth unfolds before their eyes. The Lord prepares His harvest by ripening immature hearts into hearts that are ready to accept Jesus as Saviour and bring forth fruits of righteousness. Are we prepared to harvest them?

Prayer: Dear Lord of the harvest, we thank You that You have opened our hearts to receive our Lord Jesus. Humbly, we ask that You would make us willing to leave our comfort zones and enter unfamiliar territory with the call to follow Jesus. Enable us to work in the field that You have prepared for the harvest. In our Saviour's name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Jane deGlint <jane.deglint@gmail.com>
Langley, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good word Jane.


    Thanks Jane for the challenge.


    Thank you, Jane, for such a wonderful, challenging devotion.


    Thank you, Jane, for sharing this convicting devotional with us. Blessings.


    Jane – excellent message and analogy. IT fits so well with the sermons of yesterday on mission work. Thank you for writing this. God Bless you.


    I think also the Lord calls us to tasks for which we feel totally unprepared.
    But once we say yes, he equips us!
    Thanks for sharing.


    Thank you, Jane. And my reaction to your devotional is a simple one line prayer.
    “This day I ask you Lord to enable me… to hear and to obey all that you whisper into my heart.”


    Dear Jane, I am almost 93, but no matter what our age, and physical condition as long as our mind works, the Lord has something we can do. I have been going through severe Sciatica for a year now and refuse to let it get me down. We as God’s children can sometimes take advantage of these situations, do what we can and give to Him. That’s my little message for the day unless a new one shows up. Thank you so much, Jane, for our visit together with a good cup and the Lord, our best friend. God loves you and so do I.
    (Ca.)


    Dear Jane, Thank you for your thoughts in this devotional. My husband and I are now living in a senior’s residence even though we are a fair bit younger than most people.
    You talk about a field that desperately needs harvesting! Right now we are good friends with a delightful woman who we call our ray of sunshine!
    Recently we were discussing our desire to be a witness to her and wondering how on earth to do it. She doesn’t come across as needy or anything so I suggested we just start up a conversation about Christ and ask her if she is prepared to meet Him? She is 85 and if something happened, I wouldn’t want to deal with how I’d feel if I hadn’t ever given her the opportunity to accept Jesus. Praying that God will give us a clear opportunity to talk to her.
    Your devotional must be God speaking to me to stand guard and wait for my chance! Thank You Lord for speaking to me through Your servant, Jane.
    Blessings to you and yours.

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