My dad was a good farmer. And in 1970, that meant lots of long hours in the sun, especially once the cotton was in the ground.
Because he was mainly a one-man show when it came to our land, my dad staggered the planting of the fields a bit, so that he could keep up with its cultivation. Once the plants began to sprout, he was busy from one field to another plowing up weeds, spraying for boll weevils, praying for rain and praying against hail. My mother and I were always a little relieved when the time finally came for harvest in early fall. We knew that those days would be long, but that the end of the season was in sight.
One September, the school secretary brought a note to me from the office. “Your dad’s had a heart attack and will be having open heart surgery.”
When I joined my mom at the hospital, she further explained to situation as we sat together in the waiting room.
“The doctor will saw your daddy’s chest bone open in order to get to his heart. Even if the Lord grants the doctor wisdom and favor throughout the surgery, your dad isn’t going to feel good for a long, long time.”
“But what about the cotton?” I asked with fourth-grade simplicity.
“We must pray to the Lord of the harvest,” my mother whispered. “Let’s ask Him to provide laborers.”
I had no idea what my mom was talking about, but from the look in her eyes, I could tell she was believing something big.
And sure enough, by the time that my dad was released from the hospital, our neighbors had gathered together to strip our cotton for us. Using their own equipment, time, and in some cases their own paid workers, these harvesters had heard the prompting of the Father through my mother’s prayers. It proved to be the quickest harvest my dad ever had.
What about the Father’s harvest? Should we be any less concerned than our neighbors were for us? He has commanded us to pray that laborers be sent out (Matthew 9:37-38). Are we doing it? Let’s begin together today.
“Father, You can see the spiritual need upon our earth even more clearly than we can. And for some reason, You await our prayers before sending out laborers into the fields. Give us hearts that care, Lord. Prompt our souls to often be in prayer for more workers among the hurting.
Help me relax in the spiritual overalls that You have already tailored for my day. I want to walk in Your accomplished actions, not in my own. Prepare my heart to minister alongside those that You have gifted to serve. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”