The work in spring has both its hopes and doubts.
What will the summer bring?
Hail or drought?
The right amount of rain, or not enough?
Scorching heat, or flooding?
When fall arrives, it’s harvest time! And you already know what your harvest will be.
It’s a season of jubilation in the abundance of a good crops or the anguish of a bad one.
There’s expectancy or dread.
It’s a season of interrogating reality.
Did I prepare my fields? Did I plow them correctly? Did I plant enough?
We get to see the fruit we’ve sown. And then we store what we’ve sown for the winter.
In the Fall we learn what we’ve sown…
In the seasons of the heart, what am I harvesting? This indicates what I actually planted.
Make no mistake, we all sow something. We either sow what pleases the Spirit, or we sow our sinful nature.
Are we cultivating the sin attitudes and actions in our lives or God’s goodness?
“Our spirits and our flesh are at war. What we sow is what we grow. And many times every day, we are presented with a litany of invitations to sow to the flesh or to the spirit.”1
So what behaviours are you sowing and reaping?
Greed? Anger? Fear? Or love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? Gratefulness and thanksgiving, or bitterness and unforgiveness?
… and how we’ve sown
Did you sow generously or sparingly?
Those “who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.” (2 Corinthians 9:6 NLT).
An abundant harvest comes from sowing lots of seeds, whereas a meagre harvest is from sowing little. Or worse, did you sow anything at all.
I hope you are looking at your harvest and praising God for the abundance you’ve been given.
If you are seeing a meagre harvest, then it’s time to interrogate your reality. Ask yourself the hard questions and make the necessary changes in your life. Find out what’s lurking in the shadows.
Three activities for being fruitful in the Fall
Regardless of what your harvest looks like, there are three spiritual activities suited for Fall.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s a time of gratitude and feasting. It’s a celebration with those you care most about. It’s a time of loud, joyous praise. You can’t be thankful and be silent. It’s just doesn’t work. So be grateful. Show that gratitude to others.
In biblical times, fall was a time to feast and fatten up for winter.
Mark Buchanan says it this way:
“I think, for many of us, our spiritual wintertimes are so long and hard and deep and grim because our spiritual autumns are so lean. We’re anorexics just at the moment we ought to be gluttons. We don’t feast when the season calls for it.”1
Look back at a previous season change coming out of winter and into spring, you might see the lack you had. Don’t make the same mistake this fall! It’s time to fatten up this time around.
The best way to fatten up is on the Word. Memorize the Bible. Make sure there is more meat on your frame.
Deal with Idols:
Part of interrogating reality is to look in your own back yard. Are there things in your life that are replacing God?
Not every difficulty is a result of idolatry; there are certainly going to be times where crop yields are low regardless of what you plant. It just happens.
But isn’t a bad harvest at least worth reflecting on?
While it is hard to face, its important to be aware of what’s happened and check if some of the lack you are experiencing is a result of something that isn’t honoring to God.
I circle back to a question asked at the beginning of this series on the seasons of the heart.
What would our lives look like if we regularly and consistently worked to bear fruit in each season? Think of the impact we could have on our families, friends, church, and the world around us!
Know what season you are in. Embrace them. Seek God in them. Learn from them. Be fruitful in all seasons!
If you are in a season of fall, what does your harvest tell you about what you’ve sown? Interrogate reality. What changes do you need to make to ensure your next harvest is more fruitful? Share in the comments below, you just might give someone else perspective on something they can do in their own life.
1Buchanan, M. (2010). Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus Every Season of Your Soul. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.