One of the significant events in a believer’s walk with the Lord is when He begins to open your eyes to see the harvest field around you. You begin to see your hurting friend. You see the struggling family down the street. You see the fellow employee addicted to porn. You see a widower who is alone and isolated. You see a person being neglected and left out because she is new to the country. You see a man with four children and one on the way who has just lost his job because of downsizing. You see a lady down the street who is struggling with heart issues.
This awareness can be overwhelming, frustrating, and paralyzing for the follower of Jesus. It can be discouraging and painful. Even more, you may ask: “What do I do and how do I respond when I see whole communities destroyed because of weather related events?” Added to all of this is the vitriol and violence we now see in the pubic square and in the political arena. The cultural and ideological war in which we now find ourselves in the West can be quite disturbing and unsettling. Many followers of Jesus are not sure how to engage, if to engage, or the appropriate place to engage all of these challenges.
As Christians we cannot put our heads in the sand and ignore what the Lord is showing us. When He gives a person insight, perspective, or awareness, He expects that person to use this insight in His wisdom, with His guidance, and for His purposes. It is so easy to allow obstacles to get us off task, away from the calling God has placed on all our lives as His followers.
Jesus said: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. There- fore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2). There is a plentiful harvest all around us here in North America! Therefore, “pray earnestly” to God asking Him to send forth helpers. We should do all we can to help and serve, but this does not necessarily mean that we are to do it alone. Ask God for helpers. He will answer your prayers. Jesus tells us here that it is “His” harvest. Our role is to be faithful in doing our part, and faithful in asking God for more help.
All around us we see evidence that the human heart is wounded and hurt. Theologically and Biblically we understand this is the result of sin (Romans 3:23). However, we also know that Jesus provides the answer, the forgiveness, the healing, and the renewing of the human heart by His death and resurrection from the dead. It is by faith that we call on Him and receive His goodness into our lives. And yet, it is up to us not only to share with others how He has brought healing and new life to our lives, but to disciple others to be able to do the same.
The pain and suffering in our world is not going away, but when God opens your eyes to it, He is also equipping you through His Spirit to do something about it. Hear this prayer the Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that He may know the hope to which He has called you…” (Ephesian 1:16f ). Let’s stay on task and not get sidetracked from His purposes!
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America