Lost Harvest

In the early 1800s a windmill salesman passed through a Midwest farming area. This was long before the days of electricity, and so windmills were used to provide power to draw the needed water. The windmill salesman was quite skilled at what he did, and over a period of months, he wrote up hundreds of orders. Unfortunately, the company that employed the salesman could not produce enough windmills to keep up with his prolific orders—and so they fired him. Unwilling to make the adjustments necessary to meet the demand, the windmill company found it easier simply to get rid of the successful salesman who was giving them more work then they could handle. Thus a great “harvest” was lost!

You and I may chuckle as we think about such shortsightedness. What were the owners of the windmill factory thinking? Why didn’t they simply hire additional workers? Why didn’t they add a second shift? We may ask the same question about the twenty-first century church. Christ still needs many “salespeople” to convey the message of salvation which He offers to all. Jesus’ words are just as clear today as when He declared them two thousand years ago: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2).

Jesus frequently thought of His earthly mission in terms of harvesting. Following the conversion of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, there was urgency in Jesus’ voice when He addressed the disciples: “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest?’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35). The harvest here represents the multitude of potential believers that you and I meet day by day, who have yet to hear and respond to the gospel message. A sobering question is this: How many souls will go down to a Christ-less grave because you and I, like the owners of the windmill factory, have neglected to do what we’ve been called to do—telling others about Jesus—and thus failing the Lord of the Harvest!

—Paul W. Brubaker
September/October 2008