Monday, February 11, 2008

The Harvest Cycle

I had the blessing of sharing with a group of about 30 women from our church this past weekend. God put on my heart the topic of "Harvesting Hope from Heartache" based on Psalm 126:5-6 that says, "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."

God's hand seemed to be upon the entire afternoon and I felt His peace and guidance as I spoke. For the first time ever when doing public speaking, I got up to start without any feelings of of even mild panic nor shaking hands or anything! I had been a bit nervous before hand, but just really felt a great sence of peace all the way around when the time to talk actually came.
It was so encouraging to have my Mom there. I also have a fairly new friend from church that came and she went through a few years of infertility before the birth of her daughter. They are just getting ready to start trying to conceive again after their little miracle, so she's nervous about that journey. Also a lady I met on another message board was there, just a week after her 12-week miscarriage. Another friend there had a daughter who died in infancy about 10 years ago. I don't know everyone else's stories, but several ladies came up to talk afterwards and said that they were blessed, so I'm just praising the Lord right now!

Here's a brief outline of the talk:

Harvest Cycle (After each phase of the cycle are the emotions a grain of wheat might experience as it prepares for its final purpose.)

Planting – darkness, suffocation, loneliness

No one is immune from heartache. Even when I can’t feel Him, God is always there.

I shared the opening portion of Hannah's Hope chapter one, Hannah's loss of innocence and my story of attending a party as an infertile woman, to illustrate the isolation and darkness of the planting season.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? …If I make my bed in the depths, you are there… Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. – From Psalm 139:7-12

Waiting – seemingly endless, pointless, impatience

God’s “protection” may leave me bewildered, but He always has a plan for my good.

Read "Wait", the poem I posted in my previous blog entry.

“…For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Sprouting – new, fragile, reaching out

God wants my honesty. Where am I placing my hope?

Shared personal experience of being angry with God, yet being unwilling to admit my anger, followed by the freedom of "letting Him have it" and being truly honest. Also the realization that I was placing my hope in a child rather than in God and the attitude changes He needed to bring about in me.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

Growing – stretching, exposed to the elements - hot sun, pounding ran, buffeting wind

God is personal. He cares about every need. He wants me to rely on Him.

Personal stories of God meeting me in places of need both in chronic health challenges and in infertility and other desires of my heart like the longing for a piano.

I pray that out of his glorious riches [God, the Father] may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:16-19

Reaping – cut, dry, gather, bundle

God does not intend for me to “do life” alone.

The beauty of fellowship, belonging and finding others who understand by personal experience. Contrast to the lonilness of "planting".

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Threshing – separating chaff from good grain, sometimes by stomping or throwing

Sometimes it gets harder before it gets better. God will help me persevere!

Struggle with fears during pregnancy and adjustments in parenthood. Sometimes "having just what I want" isn't quite what I pictured.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

Refining – grinding, mixing and baking lead to nourishment and pleasure

When seasons of heartache are over, I should celebrate what God has done!

Sometimes rejoicing is obvious, such as celebration over the long-awaited gift of children. Other times it is less obvious, like learning to rejoice in 17 years of ongoing pain and illness. God is good, all the time!

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. – Psalm 126:5-6

1 comment:

Audrey said...

I smiled reading your post. I put together a group of women Saturday night for a study session. It was so wonderful. Just women, all learning together.

Audrey :)