We finally got to leave for harvest recently. Like many harvesters, we saw the first part of our harvest run somewhat wrecked by weather conditions — drought last summer and fall, continued drought through the winter, the record-setting cold snap, a late freeze and then rain that started just in time to save some of our Texas wheat work, though it matured about as late as anyone can remember and just barely before our work further north. Our early work in New Mexico received no measurable moisture from when it was planted into dust last September through when it died sometime in the early months of this year.
With our Texas work very delayed and our New Mexico work dried up and blown away, we spent an awful lot of time at home in the getting-ready-to-go stage of our year.
The getting-ready-to-go stage definitely is not the fun part of harvest. It’s the part that would make you quit harvesting if you were a quitter. It’s stressful because there are so many things to do, and you don’t know when exactly you’ll need to leave — this week? next week? — and people won’t quit asking when you’re planning to go.
All in all, by the time the getting-ready-to-go stage finally ended and we left home for Texas, I was distinctly not feeling it. I wasn’t interested in harvest any more. I didn’t wanna. I didn’t have the fire, the eager anticipation. When I should have been feeling excited and relieved that harvest was FINALLY starting, I instead felt stressed, tired, frustrated and annoyed.
My feelings really didn’t matter. Harvest started anyway, and things are far better now that it’s actually in progress. I’m back to feeling it again. I’m excited to be doing what we’re doing and I again think that this is probably one of the best jobs in the world.
Whether we’re feeling it or not matters a lot to us humans. You can see examples of it all through the Old Testament. Take a look, for example, at the story of Abram (Abraham) in Genesis 17:1-18:15. He and Sarai (Sarah) had waited for decades to have a child, and they had given up. Then one day, when Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and promised him that he would be “the father of a multitude of nations.” Abraham and Sarah both laughed at God. They weren’t feeling it. They were frustrated and annoyed; they knew it wasn’t going to happen.
They were wrong. It happened, because God said it would. Abraham and Sarah’s feelings on the topic didn’t matter to God — and that’s a good thing, because if Abraham and Sarah hadn’t had a son, Jesus’ ancestral lineage wouldn’t have existed. The Savior of the world never would have been born.
Think of Jonah (Jonah 1-3:5): God said to him, “Go to Nineveh.” Jonah wasn’t feeling it — to the extent that he ran in the opposite direction from Nineveh. Following an intervention that involved a scary storm, a bunch of frightened sailors and a great fish, Jonah went to Nineveh. It happened because God said it would happen. Jonah’s feelings didn’t matter. And that’s a good thing, because if you read Jonah 3, you’ll see that Jonah’s visit to Nineveh prevented the Ninevites from perishing under God’s wrath.
Remember David, the young shepherd boy who defeated the giant Goliath? There were a lot of people who weren’t feeling that victory until it happened, including Goliath himself. First Samuel 17:42-44 says, “…(W)hen the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth … . The Philistine said to David, ‘Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.’” Then David killed Goliath. The thoughts of all the people who weren’t feeling it didn’t matter: It happened because God said it would happen. It sure is a good thing that it did, because David was an ancestor of Jesus. If David had died, where would Jesus have come from?
These examples go on and on. The theme is the same, though. Even when we’re not feeling it, things happen if God says they’ll happen — and that’s always good (see Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good … .”).
This is always true, and it is especially true with forgiveness. Sometimes we humans forget this. We’re just not feeling it — after all, we’re only human. Maybe there’s that one sin that we just can’t leave in our past. Even though we’ve admitted to having done wrong and changed our ways, it still bothers us. We’re just not feeling God’s forgiveness, so we think we’re not forgiven.
However, we read in 1 John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The person who repents of their sins is forgiven — every time, without fail. The sinner’s feelings on the topic don’t matter. The Bible doesn’t say our sins are forgiven only if we feel the forgiveness, or only if a great change comes over us and we fall down crying. No, the Bible simply says that if we confess our sins, God forgives us.
Being forgiven doesn’t mean we can escape the consequences of our sins. This is a fallen world, and there are always consequences — but with God there also is always forgiveness.
Our feelings about it don’t matter — and that’s a good thing.
This first appeared in the July 2021 issue of the U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. newsletter magazine Harvest News. Tara Heil of Heil Harvesting LLC, based in Ulysses, Kansas, is a designer and editor of Harvest News in addition to being a combine operator, truck driver, fuel runner, cook, grease monkey or whatever else the harvesting business requires. Contact her at email@example.com. Scripture quotations from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®).