Now that I have hit sixty (and I don’t mean mph), I have lived long enough to see a few harvests. If you are reading this and you are in your teens or twenties or thirties, consider what you are diligently planting, because when you hit your forties and fifties, a harvest starts rolling in.

For example, if you have been sowing a whole lot of low-grade discontent, you’ll be reaping a harvest of misery. If you’ve been picking on your kids for a decade, you will see them disappear over the horizon. If you’ve been complaining to your husband for two decades, you might see him disappear over the horizon as well.

We see a harvest on both the physical level as well as the spiritual. Women who have been trying to look twenty in their thirties and thirty in their forties reap a harvest of looking  like day-old donuts. Stale. (My husband says that the only thing worse than a day-old donut is a day-old donut with a fake tan and hoop earrings.) Women who have been sowing idleness and slovenliness start looking neglected and rejected. None of this happens overnight. It takes years of diligent seed-sowing.

What our culture calls a mid-life crisis is a sort of harvest. You know what I mean. Like the men who suddenly grow their hair out long and buy flashy sports cars and start cruising down Main. Or women who feel useless and rack up large credit card debts. This is often when marital infidelity happens, and I don’t mean just the men. Marriages fritz.

Now don’t quit reading this post because you think I’m being so very pessimistic. I’m just saying that the things we do, the habits we cultivate day-in and day-out are like seeds. They germinate. They grow, and they produce a crop.  So consider what you are planting. What kind of seed have you been sowing in your field?

If we are planting faithfulness and sacrifice, the harvest is peace and joy. If we are cultivating a gentle and quiet and meek spirit, we will have a beautiful crop to put in the barn some day. So what’s sprouting in your field right now? Respectfulness, kindness, gratitude? Envy, bitterness, self-centeredness?

Consider some of the older women you know. Your mother, for example. What have they planted and what kind of crop has come in so far? Take note. Learn from the older women, both those with a good crop and those with a failed crop. Cranky old women didn’t wake up cranky on their seventieth birthday. They were cranky about lots of things for many years, and by the time they hit seventy, they had a whole lot more  to be cranky about.

Ask God to give your field a look over, and ask the Holy Spirit to identify the bad seeds that have gotten into the crop. Then pray that He will help you get rid of those so you can turn your attention to planting the good stuff, things like kindness and gratitude. Shove some of that seed into the ground each day.

God does wonders. He receives us and cleanses us. He is willing to forgive and overlook our failed crops. He graciously uses our repentance and faith to produce a new crop. We put the seed in the ground, and He brings about the increase.

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50 thoughts on “Harvest Time

  1. Excellent post, Nancy! So, so true – we reap what we sow but we have a wonderful Father who guides and directs according to our needs and willing to forgive according to our confession and request.

  2. “The habits we cultivate day-in and day-out are like seeds. They germinate. They grow, and they produce a crop.” Well said. Great reminder to thank the Lord for His growing of the right things and the call repentence in heart to tear out and regrow those things that are not pleasing to Him.
    Thanks so much for the post.

  3. Galatians 6:9 has been my theme verse during these early toddler years I’m in the middle of right now. Thank you so much for expanding on that concept, and reminding me to apply the idea of sowing seeds to my own heart and life.

    “…turn your attention to planting the good stuff, things like kindness and gratitude. Shove some of that seed into the ground each day… We put the seed in the ground, and He brings about the increase.”

    Love it!

  4. Wish I had read this 50 years ago…..but, maybe I wouldn’t have listened then either:( Thank you

  5. This one made me cry. Could have something to do with being 4 days post-partum.=} Thank you for reminding us about the Harvest that is yet to come.

  6. Nancy, thank you so much for the reminder that the harvest will come later. What an encouragement and a good warning as well! I remember earlier this year, my husband (then a full time pastor, now a full time pastor with a secular job) said that many pastors abandon their churches because all they want to do is reap. They flee when the sowing gets rough and is hard work. So many days I feel so overwhelmed with my ministry as a mother and wife…thanks for the reminder “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Praying for The Lord to keep me faithful as I sow seeds! Thank God HE is in complete control of the harvest!

  7. Thanks so much, Nancy. I was enjoying the fall weather with my daughters this weekend and thinking about how the things I do now will affect my “harvest” someday.

  8. What a great reminder! It’s always wonderful to have a wake up call~ and I thank you for that! When others are out “trying” to look younger, and I look on them with a bit of envy…I know what I am about is MUCH more important and that harvest is a sometimes slow and always a hard process but worth it in the end! I will keep pressing on, though I can’t promise to never glance over that proverbial fence every now and then because there are just days your flesh grows weak.

    Thank you! This was great!!!!!!

  9. Wonderful post! I will be reading this again and again. Thank you for writing so well and encouraging us young moms. It’s much appreciated and needed!

  10. Whenever I come to this blog I am always confronted with Truth that is potentially life changing, if I will only adhere to it. Thank you!

  11. I agree with Sarah. This is one of the best, if not the best, post I’ve read on this site. Thank you, Nancy!

  12. Thank you, Nancy, for faithfully sowing in my life. You talked to me once of the seasons of life and being faithful to sow in season. Each period of life has its own joys and trials. Patience and contentment, looking to the Lord of the harvest for grace and strength, promise great returns. I feel as if I also reap your faithfulness each day as God uses your example in my life.

  13. This is excellent. As a first generation Christian, I have been very aware of my need to plant new seeds. It is especially helpful to keep being reminded to keep checking on what we’re planting, because those seeds from previous generations have a habit of being in my pocket if I’m not careful!! With God’s help though, I can have a new crop!! Praise the Lord for making straw into gold.

  14. True words! And it seems clear that the seeds we plant tend to produce a harvest for both ourselves and for those closest to us. A good farmer feeds more mouths than his own, and the weeds that take root in our own little yards have a way of spreading to our nearest neighbors. Thank you for the reminder of the harvest yet to come.

  15. This post feels condemning to me, personally. I recognize the truth in it. But there are factors outside of our control. I thought I was sowing faithfulness and sacrifice. I’m reaping something quite different now. My comfort is that we’re works in progress, and the harvest isn’t in yet. And you did say that, Nancy. It’s not always true that what we have right now is an earned fruit. Isn’t that the discredited doctrine of theodicy?

  16. Thank You for speaking Truth clearly and boldly.Monday is here and a meek and quiet spirit consistently lived out is what I seek. Without it ,the weeds choke out what has been sown and those seeds must be planted again.

    Thank you Sovereign God of the Universe that You sent Christ Jesus to save us. Help us to work out the gift of Salvation daily; where you have placed us ,each moment, as wives and Mothers of children.

  17. So refreshing to my soul. May God grant this to all of us, a heart surrendered to Him and His ways. Thank you so much for your wisdom!

  18. Thank you for reminding us of something we may already know, but can’t hear enough – and can’t make too important. It’s so easy for me to be that cranky person – and I don’t want to be that. Thanks, thanks, thanks!

  19. Thank you so much for this!!! I so needed to read this. such a good reminder to be faithful even when it means sacrifice.
    In Gods grace,
    ~Anna Houston

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