A significant proportion of the world forgets or is desensitized to the needs of those around them, though the bodies and souls that need refreshing are innumerable. Right in your community people are hungry and others are starving spiritually, to the point of death.
In a culture that encourages one to 'drink water and mind yuh business', people are struggling in our presence, falling around us and many turn to the other side. Neighbours standing not even 50 feet away avoid eye contact just to avoid saying good morning/evening.
The good Samaritan’s sobriquet of ‘good’ was so given because he didn't ignore the need of a fellow human. He cared enough to do more than pity him; he helped him (Luke 10).
He gave his heart - he was moved by the man's pain; race or beliefs did not matter.
He gave his time - he delayed his own mission/purpose to help.
He gave his finances - he used his money to pay the bill for this stranger in need.
Ignoring one's neighbour is expected in the ‘world’ but though we are in it, we are not of it (John 17:16). It's not okay to ignore the needs of those around us when we are commanded to love our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 22:39) and to do unto others as we would like done to us (Mathew 7:12).
"The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV
The harvest of persons who need a comforting word, a reassuring hug, or financial support is just a drop in the bucket of the ripe and abundant harvest of people in need, to which the book of Matthew refers.
In this generation, it must seem overambitious and unreasonable to request that we ‘harvest’ strangers when we ignore those right around us.
In the economy and context of our spirituality, people's needs are significant but demand always outweighs the supply. There are more needs than there are people willing to meet them.
Nonetheless, Christ is the Lord of the harvest.
Christ is never unaware or distracted from this plentiful field of needs, and promises to make a way.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: But they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. (Psalm 34:10)
2. He calls out and orchestrates all the labourers who will eventually put their hands to the work.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10)
How could we turn our backs and ignore the needs of those around us? How could we walk away from an opportunity to be the hope and help someone has been praying for?
Though they may be few, while some people are actively looking to get, others are actively looking to give, even when they don't have enough for themselves.
Giving isn't supposed to be to the destitute only, it's also to those who are blinded from the truth. The truth about who God is and who He created them to be. Those who shrink back in discouragement with feelings of inadequacy and those whose hearts are heavy from loss and grief, are in this ripe harvest waiting for restoration.
The scriptural context is about spreading the gospel and turning people's hearts to Christ and there are several ways to harvest souls, but genuinely loving our neighbours and meeting the needs of others are key methods.
Last Thursday, one nightly news channel featured the story of a passerby who lovingly and selflessly entered a murky, critter-filled waterway in the darkness of night, to rescue a gentleman whose vehicle ran off the roadway and was overturned and partially submerged. While others who were allegedly tasked and equipped to help stood by watching, one man decided to do the work.
I had already written this article before that incident but the story was so aligned and the selfless act warmed my heart to the point of commendable mention.
Sadly though, the harvest-labourer imbalance will continue as more and more, “people... love only themselves and their money” (2 Timothy 3:2).
All is not lost though as you can make a difference. One act of kindness can pluck someone from the abyss of darkness and chaos and gather them into the loving fold of Christ.
People are eager to be heard, helped, and harvested and we just need a few labourers committed to working instead of standing by watching.
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