20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
[Reflective Journal Entry]
The warmth of your rays reached in dark places. Your light cannot be stopped or dispelled.
From the very beginning, I felt your warm embrace despite darkness pressing all around. Your endless chase energized my soul.
You spoke truth, hope, and love in valleys low giving food for my soul. Your wings covered me as my soul sprouted although blinded and afraid.
Accepting your truth and grace gave me true life and purpose. Bursting forth, my arms reached for the heavens as I climbed out of the pit of darkness.
You provided nutrients through your Word as “it takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.” (Matthew 4:4)
Sharing the fruits of the Spirit reinforced your calling. You overly and abundantly produced encouragement, discernment, wisdom, truth, vision, and prophecy as long as my roots remained in You.
Each morning you whispered through the morning dew: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” (Luke 10:2)
Ministries grew all around as “those planted in good soil reaped a harvest 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.” (Mark 4:20) Bountiful and lush, we swayed in one accord giving praise to you like wheat swaying in the wind.
Visions collided and communities united. The Holy Spirit poured out His richness over the fields from a heart of obedience and reverent fear. Pour your Spirit out! (Isaiah 44:3).
Yet, in the distance I hear a rumble like an endless herd trampling underfoot. The sound magnified as it approached exponentially- cutting, trimming, pruning.
“Save me from the pain!” I cried. However, You held me tighter in preparation for the harvest. I closed my eyes and melted in Your embrace; You cradled me like a child while I sang through my Spirit as the blades approached: “Yet not I but through Christ in me.” (Galatians 2:20).
As the morning sun sheepishly peeked over the horizon, my eyes were filled with tears. Lush vegetation and bountiful fruit have been replaced with lifeless stalks as far as the eye can see.
“Oh, God! Why did you destroy me?” I cried with my last breath. He reached down from heaven’s throne (Psalm 18:16-28) and lifted me up for a spiritual view.
The Holy Spirit said, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21). He continued to whisper, “God did not destroy you! He left the most important part of you; just look.”
As I gazed across the field below, my eyes were unveiled. I could easily see that God left the very parts of me necessary to replenish the soil for future growth! What I saw as a useless stalk was intended for a future, different harvest.
The Holy Spirit revealed that my leftovers “after the harvest” were intended for future growth not destruction!
He smiled through His Words and said gently…”Just as Jesus died and left the very important parts of Himself through the Spirit in each believer to ‘go forth and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20).
My lesson: God prunes, takes, and shapes what He requires for His Kingdom.
The “stalks” left behind were intended to replenish the soil with much needed nutrients and even protecting the soil during the harsh winter months.
God was actually protecting me!
As God placed me back into the ground, I looked up and smiled through my stubby stalk and said, “Not I but through Christ in Me.”
Until the next harvest, I will worship, praise, pray, and be still and know that He is God.
Question: Are you in an “After the Harvest” spiritual season?
Prayer: Thank you God for your provisions, protection, mercy and love! Today and forevermore we worship you. Forgive us for our selfishness and pride. Rid us of ourselves and fill us with Your Holy Spirit. Use each of us to fulfill your Kingdom purpose all over the lands. Thank you for your Son, Jesus and keep us in your vine as we grow, produce, and remain in You all the days of our lives.
Special thank you: Sarah Fortenberry
Music: Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me (Live) – Selah [YouTube]