Looking out at the mountains from our headquarters in Lake Junaluska, there are signs everywhere that summer is slowly drawing to a close and the wonderful season of fall/autumn is at hand. The lanscape will soon become a quilted patchwork of breathtaking colours.
For many it seems as if some seasons of life will never pass when confronted with tragedy, illness, bereavement or disappointment. The Bible reassures us; “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
During the last two months, I have been through a season of bidding farewell to family, colleagues and close friends who have transitioned to the Church triumphant. I was again forcefully reminded that life is fragile, and we need to live it to the fullest without regrets. Although it is hard to comprehend, I know that God is ultimately in charge and “all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans.” (Romans 8:23)
Last year in September I participated in the Evelyn Laycock Bible Series. The theme was Sowing and Reaping, Seedtime and Harvest. The Bible is full of stories about sowing and reaping because most of the hearers were part of an agrarian society.
The word of the Lord to those who returned from exile was; “Don’t you see what is happening, you have sowed much corn, but you have harvested very little.”(Haggai 1:5) The prophet Hosea reminds Israel, “Plant the seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest the crop of love, break the fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord so that he may rain righteousness upon you.” (Hosea 10:12) To break up the fellow ground is to make use the “idle capacity” and “untapped potential” in our lives.
The change of the seasons is a good time to take stock of our lives. We have to check whether we are standing on the fallow ground. Fallow ground is good soil that has known the plough. It might have been sown and borne crops a long time ago but have been left and are hardened only producing weeds and thorns. In other words, it is ground with great potential that is barren and underutilised.
To get a full measure of God’s blessing, we have to respond to the challenge and urgency of Hosea’s message, “Break the fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord”. It is only as we earnestly call out and depend entirely on the Lord that we will be empowered to discover glorious days of opportunity which will bear much fruit.
In the natural scheme of things, “we reap what we sow”. If we sow wretchedness, we will reap iniquity but if we sow righteousness, we will reap mercy. Let us not wait for a time of personal, national or global crisis but break the fallow ground today by recognizing that it is; “time to seek the Lord”.
As we celebrate Fall in the Northern Hemisphere, and Spring in the South, may the changes herald a new season in our lives.