October is one of my favorite months of the year. Yes, I am a Christian woman who loves all things Fall. Am I worried about being stereotyped? No, because at nearly 45 years old, I just don’t care about labels anymore.
But there is another reason I love Fall. First, you have to know that I am a city girl down to my core. I’ve spend a decade in rural Iowa and now five years in suburban San Francisco. I have no delusions about my ability to live on a farm. But even a city girl like me can feel harvest in the air. It’s the last quarter of the year, and time to pull up everything planted. Since Spring I’ve watched pumpkins in my backyard sprout from tiny little green globes the size of ping pong balls to huge orange signs of Fall.
All this makes me wonder what I am harvesting personally. The healthy eating plan I started in April has had some success, so my clothes are fitting better. My writing goals and sacred time is paying off.
But part of being a flawed human in a flawed world means I find myself pulling up fruit I wish had never been planted. I wish twenty years ago I had planted healthier ways to deal with stress. I wish I had practiced patience more often in my youth so that it would come more naturally to me now.
But as any true farmer will tell you, Fall is both a time for harvesting but also for planting. I know it sounds counterintuitive for a city girl like me, but the constant rain and snow of winter give the seeds the abundant nourishing water they need. Surprisingly, the cold doesn’t damage it. It will only strip off the hard outer coating that needs to disintegrate before life can shoot out of the dark soil. I get to plant again, this time with more wisdom and experience.
What are you harvesting this Fall? What are you ready to plant? Remember, all we can do right now is put the seed in the ground and nourish it. The next harvest won’t come for months, if not years. But whatever we put in the ground now will pop up in the spring of our lives. What are you ready to harvest?
How do we start planting something new? I don’t know the whole path, but I know the first step is to find a Bible verse that speaks to your situation. Ask any Christian from any denomination who has overcome heartache, setbacks, or spiritual oppression, and they without a doubt talk about replacing whatever lie held them captive with God’s truth. They started by finding a Bible verse that spoke directly to them as if God had meant it only for them. Then they memorized it until the words became part of them.
You’d be surprised at how many verses are still so relevant to our modern heartaches. As a friend once said to me, when you find the perfect verse for your situation, you wonder, “How long has that been in the Bible?” Romans 12:2 explains our need for God’s written word like this:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
So what are you planting for future harvest? What Bible verse of nourishment will you be planting in your heart? Plant the seed of God’s truth in you now and watch the bounty that comes alive in you. I can’t guarantee it will happen by this Spring, but I know that God’s truth will sprout into a wonderful harvest of peace and strength, probably sooner than later.
Remember, love God, serve others and take care of yourself.