Jesus traveled through all the cities & villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues & announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And wherever He went, He healed people of every sort of disease & illness. He felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great & they didn’t know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So pray to the LORD who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send out more workers for His fields.” Matthew 9:35-38 NLT
Luke 10:1,2 also relays this story - with the added context of Jesus' sending out 72 disciples, with the instructions to be doing the same as Him... & to pray for God, the LORD of the harvest - to send more workers for His fields...
And it resonates - not just because of the faceless masses, people I don't know... but because of those within "my circle" - friends, & friends of friends - people needing the Good Shepherd, so many with such a wide range of needs that it almost drives me to distraction... I dig. Why?
It bothers me so much because of my own felt inadequacy, & brokenness - & I wonder what I can do? I know Jesus Christ, & I'm following Him. I know that the Holy Spirit convicts, changes, & transforms, brings from darkness to light. And I 'know' my role is to be somebody that lives, that models, Christ in me, doing what He would do, being what He is in the context of my circle. And yet I'm afraid. If & when I engage with people, I'm afraid it won't be enough. I articulate my fear: what if God doesn't follow through?
Now. It's out. Brought into the light, the fear that has been twisting me, nagging in the shadows of my heart is exposed for what it is. A lie, sown in doubt, used to trip me to hopelessness. Inaction. Distraction. To focus solely on my own issues, short-comings, areas that need to be 'put back together'... & not falling on the freedom, entering the adventure of faith, trust, & life. Knowing that I know that I know that God is able to heal. Restore. Transform. Forgive. Love. And that He has commissioned, empowered, & strengthened me to do just that. And to look for opportunities to do so.
So instead of waiting for someone else, someone stronger, farther along, more competent, more 'together' to be one of the 'workers' in His harvest, I know that God has sent me instead. And you. And it starts with love. First me receiving it from God, then sharing what I've been given with others. I choose love - healthy, Godly, unconditional, love. To speak the truth in love. Invest in people, without regard for what's in it for me? Without hope of reciprocity. And I pray along with the Apostle Paul:
When I think of the wisdom & scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees & pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven & on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more & more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, & how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life & power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May He be given glory in the church & in Christ Jesus forever & ever through endless ages. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21