Last night I attended the 30th anniversary banquet of CareNet Pregnancy Resources, a ministry to women considering abortion and all those scarred by guilt and shame because of a past choice for abortion. When 8 individuals presented their stories of children born because someone loved them or of finding healing for their broken heart – well, my heart melted.
A father’s kind of joy welled up inside of me. Why? Because I, along with a small group of dedicated people, felt God’s prompting 31 years ago and we worked to form this ministry that is still making an impact for Christ and His Kingdom! When we laid the foundation for what was then called the Pregnancy Center of Warren we had dreams about giving women a reason to choose life for their unborn child.
So many years later, only God knows how many children are alive, how many people have found new life in Jesus. Absorbing the presentation last night, my emotions were much like those that I feel when I look at my adult children – now productive parents, loving spouses, and faithful Christians. All that hard work of training, discipline, and love paid off! I am now 61! Life expectancy statistics tell me that I am living in the final quarter. I am enjoying this time of harvest, seeing seeds planted grown and ripened! God willing, I will yet have time to write more stories, create more opportunities for others, and see the rewards of those efforts. I am not yet ready to sit down on the porch swing in retirement. There is so much need in our world. Jesus says, “Open your eyes. The fields are ready for harvest. … but laborers are few.”
Take some advice from a guy who has a lot more past than future, now is the time to get involved. I cannot imagine coming to this stage in life with only regret over wasted years. Have I made some poor choices? Yes I have. Are there some regrets? Of course. On the whole, however, I reflect on so many choices that seemed so inconsequential at the time which have been used by God beyond my wildest expectation and, seeing His blessings that flow from decisions of obedience and service, I am filled with joy.
- Are you investing yourself in doing things that matter?
- Are you listening for God’s voice, responding with obedience, pushing past apathy today?
- What kind of story are you writing with your life, friend?
It is never too late to write another chapter. In my prayer before I fell asleep last night, the Lord brought to mind the closing 2 years of my marriage. Bev and I enjoyed a rich, loving, sometimes tempestuous love affair for 40 years. We were partners in ministry. When she was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer and we knew that time was short, we fell in love all over again. Three months before she died, she wrote an email to a friend in which she said “Jerry and I have found love like we never knew before.” Indeed, we did. And in that reminder, I prayed that God would use my life to make these years the best, the richest in ministry, that I would love Him more deeply than ever before!
There is no joy like knowing the smile of our Father. So, listen; obey; serve; and patiently wait for the harvest. It will surely come.
Here is a word from the Word. May the Spirit bless your understanding as you read.
“A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!
We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!
Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert.
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.” (Psalm 126, NLT)
Come Ye Thankful People Come
Come ye thankful people come
Raise the song of harvest home
All is safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin
God our maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied
Come to God’s own temple come
Raise the song of harvest home
All the world is God’s own field
Fruit unto His praise to yield
Wheat and tares together sown
Unto joy or sorrow grown
First the blade and then the ear
Then the full corn shall appear
Lord of harvest grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be
For the Lord our God shall come
And shall take His harvest home
From His field shall in that day
All offences purge away
Give His angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore
Even so Lord quickly come
To Thy final harvest home
Gather Thou Thy people in
Free from sorrow free from sin
There forever purified
In Thy presence to abide
Come with all Thine angels come
Raise the glorious harvest home
George Job Elvey | Henry Alford | Ken Barker | Word Music Group
© Words: Public Domain