Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications
“The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.” – Henry Beston
This time between the summer cottons and the winter wools is known as Fall. It is my favorite time of the year with so many things to please my sight, smell, sound, and taste.
It is an abundance of God’s goodness all wrapped up into one season – or at least that is how I feel.
Fall is filled with leaves turning to deep golden yellows and the brightest reds and most colorful oranges. The yummy aromas of hearty stews and soups or as my kids like to call mine, stoups, simmering on the stove.
There are long-awaited pumpkin spice drinks or pumpkin spice anything. The crisp morning air gives way to warm afternoons followed again by chilly evenings just right for a walk wearing your favorite sweater.
The whirling of leaves as they fly here and there, the chatter of the squirrels as they scurry to find and pack away their coveted nuts.
Then there is curling up with a good book or watching some football, complete with a mug of hot apple cider.
While I love all these seasonal treats, there is another thought that slowly creeps in and overtakes all the others.
Fall or Harvest is the season of gathering crops – the things that were planted, tended, and nurtured with care. It is when the gardens and fruit trees yield their harvest, blessing all our faithful labor.
As Harvest is the most productive time of the year for a farmer, may I challenge you that it should also be our most productive season of life as well?
We are in “the fall of our lives” it has been said, and a few of us may even have entered the winter of our lives.
We should be the most mature spiritually than we have ever been in our lives.
We should be using our maturity as an opportunity to plant, tend, and nurture with care a bountiful harvest of souls.
So how do we plant, tend, and nurture our grandchildren?
Share and discuss Scripture
Think about the character traits or things you hope will be present in them. What can you do to help plant those?
A possible list could include a caring kind heart and a willing obedient spirit that sees the needs of others and responds with the love of Christ.
A good place to start would be that they would know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Once your top things are decided upon, next choose some scriptures that you can plant within them. The Bible also has many biographies that demonstrate those positive traits that we would desire to see in our grandkids.
Be sure to read and discuss them. Do not forget to share your personal stories as well. Stay alert to opportunities to point out and cheer on those qualities when they are exhibited.
Share your life experiences
Next, think through how you will tend and nurture those traits to maturity. What will help them grow strong, firmly rooted, and grounded?
You have shared the Word with them and you do not want it to be snatched away or overrun by weeds, so what can you do?
Be the sun in their lives as you share the truth and love of The Son, warming their hearts and strengthening their faith.
Do not be afraid to be vulnerable as you walk your journey of faith before them. Share God’s blessings and work in your life and in others in your family.
Be ready to refresh their spirits with the living water of the Word. There are hard days in each of our lives. Be available to listen and not condemn as they process through their faith.
Do not be afraid of their questions or doubts about God and His Word. Listen and answer them truthfully.
Be sure to tell about times in your life when God showed up whether it was a time of sickness, sadness, loneliness, or whatever trial you may have endured.
Share how God helped you become stronger and stronger. Point them to the refreshing life-giving Word.
Pray for next steps
Bringing in the harvest takes work, hard work, and long hours. Have you spent time in prayer so your children and grandchildren will receive God’s Word?
Do you know God and His Word so you can share it? Do you know some Scriptures that will help you when you need them?
Are your children and grandchildren ready to receive it or are there obstacles and hindrances in the way? Ask God to show you your next steps.
Work to remove those obstacles and hindrances, remembering to teach with grace and truth. “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”[James 3:18]
There is coming a time when God will collect His harvest. He will separate those who are His from those who are not.
May we be busy this harvest season of our lives, making sure our children and grandchildren know and love the Lord.
As we plant, tend, and nurture the faith of our children and grandchildren, may we look down the generations to those not yet born – to those who are coming next and even beyond.
May we have a four generational approach as Psalm 78:4-7 teaches.
Above all, keep your eyes on the One who controls it all. Just as a farmer does all he can to ensure the best crop and harvest, ultimately it is in God’s hands.
“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” [2 Corinthians 9:10]
Are you still waiting for a harvest? Does it seems like it is so long overdue?
Have you sown God’s Word, prayed faithfully, nurtured with grace and truth, yet still waiting for something to reap? Do not give up!
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9