To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build p;4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NKJV)
One of the challenges in life is learning how to transition from one season to another with grace. Gratitude for a season that is ending ultimately needs to replace the sorrow of losing its treasures; unfortunately for many of us, sorrow over loss can easily overshadow the gratitude for those treasures we held before we lost them. Similarly, joyful expectation of the new season needs to overshadow any fear of the unknown; however, fear tends to rule our thoughts when we do not really know what that new season will hold.
We may not wish to move from winter to spring, or from our roles as students to new tasks as teachers, or from childhood to parenthood, because we have grown familiar with our roles in the old season. Indeed, it is a bittersweet experience to send a child to the first day of kindergarten or to admit the season of hands-on parenting is over when that child leaves for college. However, if we insist on remaining in familiar places where we are comfortable, we risk missing the joys of the next part of the journey.
The Church is entering a season of unprecedented harvest, if we will only be willing to position ourselves in our assigned part of the harvest field. People who do not know or understand the Gospel are not flocking to us; instead, we must go to them. The question is: are we willing? God makes us able, but we must be willing and obedient. If the Body of Christ insists on remaining cloistered in the four walls of the church building, seemingly stuck in the old season of being fed and focusing on her own personal spiritual growth, she will be ensnared in self-absorption and will completely miss the rewards of the next season, the rewards of harvest.
Training, teaching, and equipping are good practices to follow, but, at some point, we need to put that training to use by actually practicing it on someone other than ourselves and those in our comfortable circles. Jesus commands us to go, not stay where we are. The harvest is ripening at a giddy pace. If we do not put on our work clothes and run to the field, we will never experience the joy of giving away what God has put in us during our training!
In the case of harvest, most of us have never actually experienced the intense season of labor a harvest entails, nor have we experienced the joy of the crops safely gathered in. Perhaps we are afraid of the field (the people we will face or the location to which God might send us), or of the level of commitment requisite for the task, or of our own inadequacies. We forget that the joy of the Lord is and will be our strength, and that His power is made perfect in weakness.
However, the harvest is PREPARED, and the fields are ripe. The Lord is calling us there now. Father, show me the plot of land you are inviting me to harvest, for THERE is my true inheritance! Empower me to take a leap into the field You have appointed for me!