Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. (John 4:35 NAS)
Some years ago, I attended a seminar organized by IBM to introduce its operating system. A video clip was played at the start of the seminar once the audience was seated. Appearing onscreen was actor Leonard Nimoy making a commentary before it moved on to the next scenes.
"Time waits for no man," said Nimoy with a voice echoing in similar style as the first scene of almost every Star Trek movie showing the galaxies and outer space. "But man waits all the time. People were told to wait another six months for a solution ... The wait is over, the time is now ... for [the operating system]."
The whole presentation was impressive with stage settings similar to the inside of starship USS Enterprise and special effects emulating scenes from the Star Trek movies. What caught on in my mind however are the words, "Time waits for no man, but man waits all the time ... The wait is over, the time is now." This statement reminds me of what Jesus said about the harvest, "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest" (John 4:35 NAS).
Many of us probably know or have heard it being preached about the fields being white for harvest. We are aware the time is now, not later, when it comes to salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2), especially if we have loved ones who have yet to receive Christ as Lord and Savior. What we tend to forget however is while the time for salvation is now, there is also the time of waiting for the day of salvation of individuals.
It pains my heart therefore that until now many of my loved ones are still unsaved and resistance to the gospel of the Christian faith. Many a time, I have wanted to give up trying, but doing so would mean eternal death for them which certainly is not what I want because I love them. Yet, to see little or no progress despite years of prayer and effort to reach them, it hurts badly. I have earnestly sought the Lord many times in my sorrow and grieve and out of desperation, yet I cannot seem to be assured. Frequently, I asked the Lord, "How much longer Lord am I to wait? How O Lord can I break down the barriers that make it so hard to reach them?"
The Book of Ecclesiastes gives the answer. There is a time for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1). While the time for harvest may be now, there is also a time for sowing, nurturing, and waiting. The day of salvation can only take place at the acceptable time (2 Corinthians 6:2). We may plant the seed, another may water it, but God is the One who makes it grow (1 Corinthians 3:6).
Like me, some of us may be deeply concerned for the salvation of our loved ones. If this is so, we must never give up, because if we do, we are sentencing them to eternal death. We should instead seek God desperately to open the way to lead them to salvation. We may face many obstacles along the way, but we must continue to pray and stand firm in the Lord, knowing there is a time for everything under the heavens. God is the One who grows the individuals’ faith. We should therefore find comfort and be assured, while at the same time not cease to pray for the unsaved, especially our loved ones.
Let us therefore reflect on God's goodness and receive encouragement when in desperation, knowing that He is always present to hear our deepest emotions. Let us also learn from the lyrics of a song that touched my heart:
There were times in my life
When I wanted to give up
But You were there
You were there
You were there to hold my hands
When I needed Your assurance
You helped me make my plans
Only You can understand
Every good thing bestowed
And every perfect gift is from above
Coming down from the Father of lights
With whom is no shadow of turning
Dear Lord, You know our hearts and the emotions within us that easily break when in desperation. You O Lord understand how we feel. Assure us therefore Lord and help us not to doubt. Grab hold of our hands Lord when we want to give up, and lead us in our plans to know how best we can break barriers to reach our loved ones. Remind us dear Lord that the time of salvation is now, not later, and there is a time for everything. Help us understand Lord that while we may sow, another may water, and it is You who cause the growth. Calm our hearts Lord that we may be patient to wait for Your perfect timing in all we do as we continue to pray earnestly for the ones who desperately need You.
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Your message is paramount in this cry from your heart. I appreciate all the aspects of reaching the unsaved here, praying (without giving up), planting the seed, and realizing that God is the one that saves. Thank you.