The Privileged Life: An Unexpected Harvest

 “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38

I didn’t expect them to live. They were spindly, fragile seedlings—like green angel-hair spaghetti, less than an inch tall. 

Our daughter, Elizabeth, brought them to us in little trays after carefully starting them in Indiana, launching the Lenten season of preparation for Easter (see my blog from last March– I dutifully planted them in my herb garden, expecting them to quickly shrivel. 

Instead, we wound up with about seven huge tomato plants plus Swiss chard, lettuces, beans, and onions—and a surprise jalapeño pepper hidden by the towering tomatoes.

Elizabeth planted, I transplanted, and God took care of the rest…I rarely even watered the garden because we had a good year for scattered showers. And now, here late into October, we’ve cleaned out the garden, brought in the last veggies, and marveled at growth from inauspicious-looking seeds.

When Christians set out to serve Jesus, to plant “seeds” for His kingdom, they often have grandiose expectations…hopes that diminish quickly. Working the soil can be a tedious job, and it’s easy to get discouraged over time.

Have you ever heard of Adoniram Judson? Outside of those in Christian missionary circles, most people today are completely unaware of his life. 

Born in Massachusetts in the late 1700s, Judson spent nearly 40 years of his life in southeast Asia as one of the first missionaries from America. Over those decades, he lost his first wife, second wife, and several children. His efforts were hampered by sickness, wars, imprisonment, depression, and dangerous travel. But he persevered, even to his death while trying to return to Burma (present-day Myanmar) to continue his work there for Jesus Christ.

Judson planted seeds that he could never have imagined would produce growth. Today, while Myanmar is still largely Bhuddist, the Joshua Project estimates that nearly four-and-a-half million people profess to be Christians.1 Almost two centuries after Judson’s death, the harvest of his work continues, despite the constant threat of persecution.2

When you dare to serve Christ, you may believe your attempts are too feeble to accomplish anything. Your testimonies seem to fall on deaf ears, your work gets stalled, the computer won’t work (been there), or your efforts may provoke an all-out assault that shakes you to your core. Obstacles arise, and discouragement sets in. You may feel that you’re a poor planter.

But take heart, friend. God has not abandoned you or your offerings. He sees your tiny seedlings, sown in faith. He takes over where you cannot, providing the light and showers of His Holy Spirit, sending roots deep, nurturing for the harvest.

We can’t produce fruits on plants and trees. God alone has that power. We can only plant seeds and share with Him in the harvest. 

What can you do today for Him? What word, fitly spoken—an apple of gold in a setting of silver—can you share with someone who needs hope? What prayer can you lift to Him on behalf of a struggling friend? What gift can you send to a missionary working in a country closed to the Gospel? What note, with a Scripture verse, can you write to someone searching for new life?

God gives us opportunities every day to share His message of salvation, His redemption from sin, His promise of eternal life. Ask Him to give you the seeds—sow them freely, and look for the harvest He will provide. It may be quite unexpected, too!

Jesus, Master of the Harvest, give us the tools and seeds we need to spread Your message of love to the world. Give us patience when the going gets tough, and, if it’s Your will, give us a glimpse of the reaping to come. We rejoice, in faith, that You will grow an abundant harvest for Your kingdom. In Your great name, Amen.



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© Copyright 2021 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Cherokee Purple tomatoes, Swiss chard, lettuces, spring onions, tiny carrots (most are still in the ground), and that surprise jalapeño!
Some of those original seedlings…

5 responses to “The Privileged Life: An Unexpected Harvest”

      • What an amazing compliment! And now I really feel hugged because God knew what I needed to hear and even put me on your mind as you He gave you the message. He is so personal and sweet! Bless you for hearing Him and for obediently penning the words He gave you to write. I’m sure it wasn’t just for me, but I still feel special ;). Have a blessed day!


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