Fall is my favorite season. I love crisp evening breezes filled with scents of pumpkin, spices and vanilla. I adore the palette of reds, browns, oranges and yellows across God’s creation. I can’t wait to forget the swimsuit in the drawer and pull out my knitted scarves, tailored jackets, boot-cut jeans and long sleeved t-shirts.
I crave cool morning jogs, steaming cups of chai latte, bowls of homemade chili, naked tree branches, rolled down car windows and early sunsets.
I also look forward to the rest after harvest. And that’s what fall symbolizes to me—the winding down of good work and the exhale after a job well done.
God calls us all to be workers for Christ in the fields of this world (Matthew 9.37-38). Many times we have seasons of intense dedication, discipline and determination. We stay balanced but busy sowing a harvest in God’s Kingdom. We take the precious seeds that God has given us; and we use up all our strength, resources and energy planting every one. And when the time is right, we harvest the fruits of our labor and create offerings for the spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and physically hungry.
Finally, we wipe the sweat from our brow and note the chill in the air and the soft whisper from the Holy Spirit telling us it is now time to rest–not only to rest, but to be the first to partake in the harvest. As Christians, we often emphasize the need to serve others, but we forget that the Bible demands that we enjoy the fruits of our labor as well: “The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops” (2 Timothy 2.6 NKJV).
We shouldn’t let guilt rob us of finding rest in God and enjoying the harvest we worked hard to produce. We grit our teeth and press on through the hard times, so we should laugh out loud and take a breather during the easy times. We must learn to rest, to graciously accept help and to say no when we feel God telling us to slow down. Part of a disciplined life is knowing when to find shelter in God and rejuvenate our spirits, minds, hearts and bodies in His presence.
Question: Have you been able to pencil rest into your schedule? What holds you back from fully enjoying God’s harvest for you? How can you find refreshment this week?
“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God” (Ecclesiastes 2.24 NKJV).
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