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The Harvest

A season, a family–all contain the gifts that God has given us to tend lovingly.

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Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9, NIV)

A friend brought apples, and they’re still warm from the sun.

“Apple dumplings!” Samuel says. He’s my baker, and I can see that he’s already making plans.

Gabe reaches in the basket and takes one in his palm. “No. Can we make caramel apples?”

Isaiah has ideas of his own. “I want to make the good stuff,” he says. A smile breaks wide and I admire this gap-tooth grin. I know that he means pear jam. The pears will come a bit later, an annual gift of autumn goodness from another friend.

It’s precious.

The bounty is rich and sweet.

We’re gathered on the sun porch and the room is warm with afternoon light. The boys talk, and I am soft inside for the tender joy on their faces.

Our Labrador puppy is with us, also, and he’s fallen asleep in a golden ray of sun. Grant is heading out the door to go to work, but he, too, takes a moment to rest. He sits on a wicker chair and his long legs stretch far.

And I understand, as I look at my sons, that a harvest will come from here.

After all, parenting is all about growing precious things.

There are days like today, when the nourishment is easy, and the conditions are calm. Sweet times of teaching. Laughing. Loving. I feel adequate–like in God’s grace I can do a pretty fair job of giving my sons what they need to be sustained. To grow.

These are the days that whisper by. The kind I’ll long for in future days. The kind we want to press into our hearts to hold for a lifetime because we know that this all is a vapor and this beautiful blessing moves just too fast.

But to be honest, there are trying times, too. Times when the elements rage. When winds of opposition beat against tender growth. The sky can grow ominous and dark. Storms brew boldly and threaten what we’ve planted, grown, and tried so hard to cultivate.

These are the days when we pray with all the strength we can muster and trust with all that we have. The days can be long and the work is hard and the effort brings us to our knees.

But God’s Word tell us to not grow weary in our good efforts. To continue. To move forward. To persevere and press on.

And there will be a harvest.

God’s grace will prevail!

The puppy wakes and tugs on Isaiah’s sock. Grant bounds up, pecks me on the cheek, and he’s out the door. Gabe has won, and it sounds like we’ll be making caramel apples to share before bed. Soon, too, there will be jam for Isaiah to enjoy on warm, fresh bread.

And I’m going to hold God’s Word in my heart.

I’m going to keep doing good things. These are the precious days of tending what the Lord has given me.

But the harvest is coming.

And that, too, will be sweet.

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