Wheat harvest at Safe Haven Farm - Haven, KS

Harvesting when your crop looks ready

Toward the middle of May, I posted about praying for my neighbors and their wheat harvest. When I got home from my first jaunt to Glen Eyrie over Memorial Day, as I pulled into my driveway, my closest neighbor was out harvesting. He was almost finished, so I snapped a few hurried pictures because I’d promised a German coworker that I would, since she’d never really seen a combine in action before.

So thanks to everyone who prayed. My neighbors all got their wheat in, and it seems like they did fairly well. What I hear a lot, though, is that the crops weren’t as good as some were expecting. We just didn’t have the moisture over the winter that was really needed to develop the heads. Don’t get me wrong; everyone still made off really well, and out where I live, the fact that my neighbors actually got to harvest something is a big deal. But it wasn’t as big as we were hoping.

Wheat harvest at Safe Haven Farm - Haven, KS

Wheat harvest at Safe Haven Farm – Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Galatians 6:9.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

I will be the first one to admit that I get tired of doing the right thing all the time. There are days when I’m so tired of waiting that I just want to do something stupid–something unplanned and spontaneous and irresponsible–and see what happens. Because, obviously, always doing the right thing hasn’t really gotten me where I want to be. Right?

But on those days, this is the verse that always comes to mind. Because no matter what our profession or our status in life, we are all farmers. From executives to housewives, from college students to elementary students, each of us is constantly planting seeds that will eventually grow into something that will be harvested. And our choices dictate what kind of a harvest that’s going to be.

If you make good choices, if you do the right thing, you’ll eventually harvest something that will be good. If you make bad choices, if you do wrong and you know you’re doing wrong, you’ll eventually harvest something that will make you unhappy. That’s not God’s doing. That’s not God punishing you. That’s you reaping the consequences of the choices you’ve made.

Where I get bogged down is when I constantly make good choices and still feel like my harvest is bad. And that’s when I have to remember that I really haven’t harvested anything yet. I’m still at the growing phase.

In the last weeks of May, everyone out here was on edge waiting to see when the wheat was going to come in. Because it looked ready. It was golden and beautiful and when the wind blew it made that beautiful whispering sound. I know some folks brought their wheat in prematurely because they were afraid of the weather. But that wheat wasn’t ready. And even though the wheat my neighbors brought in was good, would it have been better to let it wait a little longer? I’m not a wheat expert, so I don’t know. But it’s an interesting thought.

I have a lot of fields planted in my life, and I’m sure you do too. And we’re all waiting for the day when we can start harvesting and seeing a return on all the time and effort we’ve invested. But if we jump the gun, the harvest we bring in isn’t going to be the best it could be.

Check out this same verse in the Amplified Version:

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

In due time and at the appointed season. You can’t just start harvesting when you feel like it or when you think it looks ready. You have to make sure that it is ready, and that takes waiting. And waiting takes courage, especially when you feel like you can run ahead on your own and do it yourself.

So for all of us who are waiting to harvest our own fields, don’t give up. The day is coming when we’ll get to harvest. And if you’re at the point where you feel like all you’re getting out of life is negative, just remember that if you’ve planted good seeds you will get a good harvest; you just have to wait for it.

My kitchen after I bake

Knowing what’s right but refusing to do it

I love to cook and bake for other people, and I love having people come stay at my house. What I don’t love is the clean up. There’s something about hosting a party in this crazy old farmhouse that is just tons of fun, and I try to do it as often as my schedule allows. But when I can’t have people out, I still like to bake things to bring to work or to other events. But when it comes to cleaning up my kitchen after I bake, I tend to drag my feet.

I don’t have a dishwasher. That could be a contributing factor. But generally speaking, I just don’t like doing dishes. So I let them pile up.

My kitchen after I bake

My kitchen after I bake - Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

The verses for today are Genesis 4:6-7.

“Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

All humans are psycho. Let’s just get that out in the open. If you’re a human being, you’re insane. It’s part of our flawed character. Everyone has this issue where we do the things we know are wrong and then we wonder why we get in trouble. Doesn’t matter how minor the wrong thing was, we are still surprised (or defensive) when someone catches us in the act. And the only explanation I can think of for that is that we’re all screwed up.

This is what happened to Cain. Cain and his younger brother Abel knew how to present a sacrifice to God. Their father had done it, and they had grown up knowing what God expected. Abel did it right; Cain thought his way was better. So Cain did it his own way, and God didn’t accept it. But notice that God didn’t reject Cain; just his offering. God gently explained what went wrong.

If Cain had been wiser, he would have listened. But those who know the story know he wasn’t much of a listener.

For me, doing the dishes is right. It’s my house. I made the mess. So it’s my responsibility to clean up. I could just leave them (and from this photo, obviously, that’s what I did), but then I wouldn’t have any dishes to eat my lunch on. And I wouldn’t have any pots and pans to bake with. Would it make sense for me to get angry because I don’t have dishes to eat on? If I did, it would be my own fault.

Just like when we get a speeding ticket. We’re speeding. We’re breaking the law. Why are we surprised when we get pulled over? Why are we angry at law enforcement when we are the ones who were doing what was wrong?

God has created all of us with a conscience. We know what’s right. We know what’s wrong. And we have a choice between which one to do. So what does it mean when know what’s right and we refuse to do it?

In Cain’s story, he let his own desires and his own rage dictate his actions instead of doing what he knew was right, and he killed his younger brother. With my dishes, obviously, I’m not going to kill anyone. If nothing else, it will mainly be a reflection on my own poor skills as a housekeeper. But for us to know what is right and refuse to do it indicates deeper issues. With Cain it was pride. With my dishes, it’s laziness. I know doing my dishes is the right thing to do, but it takes a lot of effort. And it’s easier to just let them sit. But it’s not right.

And if I let my dishes sit, even though I know it’s wrong, how much longer will it be before I let other things in my life sit too?

If you know what’s right and refuse to do it, watch out! That’s what this verse says. If you’re rationalizing why you don’t have to do what’s right, be so careful. Because that is the first step to allowing sin to control you. And that’s not how we were designed to live. And if you are a follower of Christ, you don’t have to be controlled by your sin.

If I just do my dishes right away, I always get done faster than I expect. But when I leave them sit, I have to scrub on them because everything dries up.

Doing what’s right will take effort. That’s true. And doing what’s wrong seems easy at first, but the consequences take more effort to deal with than doing the right thing straight off.