Daily Devotional–Monday, March 22, 2021
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Hebrews 12:11)
There has been a lot of talk in the global Church of God doing something new on a global scale as we adjust to the changes that have been brought about over the past year. And I really do believe that God wants to do something new. Yet, for all our talk, we resist the change that is required in order to do the ‘new’ thing that God is leading us toward because correction is often a necessary part of it. We love the idea of a spiritual bumper crop to come, but we can spend an awful lot of complaining, and in wishful thinking for the things that were, during the season of preparation. Season of preparation? Yes. Every farmer knows you cannot reap a crop of wheat, barley, canola or other various grains in the late summer or fall, unless you put the necessary work into preparing the fields beforehand. There’s a definite parallel to how I think God is preparing His Church during these days.
We love the idea of ‘fall’—harvest time—but it is during the days of spring that critical work must be done so that there is a harvest at all. In my younger days on the farm, as soon as the fields were dry enough not to get the tractor stuck, my dad would begin ploughing the fields. As the plow bit into the earth, it would literally flip the soil of the field upside down. The result was big ruts of evenly spaced rows—a disturbed landscape, made difficult to walk through. But a ploughed field, though in the process of being prepared to receive the seed that will develop into a harvest later in the year, is not ready to be seeded. The large chunks of uneven sod require further refining.
So, sometime later, my father or I would go out over these same fields and would now hitch the cultivator to the tractor. The cultivator broke up the rows and redistributed the earth more smoothly. But again the field was not always entirely ready for the sowing of seed. At times, members of my family would be required to go ‘rock picking’ so as to further remove potentially harmful obstructions from the field being prepared. The field now ready, would be seeded, but the work was far from done. After the seed was spread, before the days of hydraulic seeders, a set of harrows was pulled over the fields to ensure that the seed was properly mixed in with the soil and was not simply left lying on top within easy reach of birds or to be blown away by the wind.
During this past year, we have experienced the process of ploughing, as God has allowed everything we have known to get ‘flipped.’ He has begun preparing His Church as a farmer prepares a field. There are some who simply want to see the flipping of the rows reversed, but God has only just begun. He wants to further refine us so that we produce a harvest of ‘right living.’ Before 2020, the Church in many respects had settled into serving as a pasture—which requires little maintenance and allows the cows to graze at their leisure. But God does not want us to be an unproductive pasture, but rather a field of golden grain able to feed hungry crowds from our bumper crop of love, compassion, grace and joy produced in us by our heavenly Father. But that requires preparation. Will you allow Him to continue the work in you?
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!