A Spiritual Harvest

Combine auger unloading corn into truck


The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Matthew 9:37-38

A Farm Girl’s View of the Harvest

Growing up as a farm girl in the Midwest, I was surrounded by the beauty of cornfields and the ever-changing landscape of those fields.

Each season brought something new. But by far, my favorite time was harvest.

As my father’s combine went rumbling through the fields, my heart would leap with excitement, and I couldn’t wait until he brought in the first load of grain. An entire year of hard work, sweat, and tears all led up to this one moment.

What would the harvest bring?

Combine in Field

Laws of the Harvest

At a young age, I could see that God was opening my eyes to the laws of the harvest. He was teaching me spiritual lessons by allowing me to witness a physical harvest from the soil of this earth. More than anything, God was prompting me to think about a greater harvest, one that was at the center of his heart: a harvest of people brought to salvation.

From bumpy combine rides with my dad to driving through the fields myself, God was teaching me some important truths about his own spiritual harvest: 

1. Harvest requires hard work, patience, and 100% commitment from planting to picking.

Farmers sacrifice everything to bring in an abundant crop. Every day my father would wake up before the sun did and go to bed long after it had gone down. His commitment to farming was unswerving, even when he was completely worn out. Nothing could stop him from doing the absolute best job he could do. And in the spiritual realm, God calls us to do the same. We are to sacrifice everything, no matter how hard it is, for the spiritual reward of leading others to Christ.

2. Workers must go out into the fields to reap the harvest (Matthew 9:38).

Just as a farmer cannot bring in his crops with his feet kicked up on the couch, we must go out into the field to do the reaping. How tempting it is to stay where it is comfortable, but God needs us out in the fields where the harvest is ripe.

3. There is always a crop to bring in.

If you go out into the fields, even during the years of drought and hardship, you will see grain on the stalks. The ears of corn may be smaller and the bean pods may be shrunken, but there is a crop to harvest. Even when we can’t see it, there are people longing to be saved and brought into God’s spiritual harvest. We simply must open our eyes (John 4:35).

4. There is a lot of work to do, but the time is short.

During the harvest season, there is a rush to get the crops in before the snow comes and winter takes over. God’s harvest is no different. We don’t have endless time on this earth, and someday soon God will return to judge the world. Therefore, the time for harvest–the time for salvation–is now!

5. It takes a more than one person to bring in the harvest.

Each fall when my dad got the combine out and ready to go, my mother always stood ready to help when needed. In fact, our whole family’s goal, first and foremost, was this: Get the crops in! Similarly, we must join together as Christians, casting aside things of less importance, to do the work God has called us to do.

6. We must pray for the harvest.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that there was a whole lot of praying going on down at the farm! With farming, you don’t always know what is going to happen. Will there be a drought? Will there be wind damage? Will corn prices plummet again? Just as my parents prayed long and hard for the bounty of the crops, we too must pray for a rich harvest for the glory of God!

7. There is joy in the harvest (John 4:36). 

Make no mistake, the harvest is not just about hard work–it’s about the joy of it! My dad was never happier than when he was bringing in the crops. On those cool, dark fall evenings when he drove the grain wagons in from the fields, my sisters and I would run out into the barn lot to meet him. We danced around, always underfoot as he unloaded the corn into the bins, celebrating in our father’s happiness. As God’s workers, we too can rejoice in our Father’s happiness. Nothing brings the Lord greater joy than a harvest of once-lost souls who embrace a true relationship with Christ!

You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.  The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! John 4:35

My dad and my girls on the combine
My girls always enjoy a combine ride with Granddad, just as I did when I was a kid.


My dad and kids in combine tire
There is joy in the harvest!


My daughters in the combine with Granddad several years ago
You’re never too young to start learning about the laws of the harvest!


Interested in reading more about how my father influenced my faith journey? Check out this post:

Coming Home: A Story of Grace

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