The Harvest

         Category:   Religion and Philosophy               Sunday, October 4, 2009

It is incredible how God shows us the mysteries of life with such simple examples. It is apparent to me that God is not a complex Creator that can’t be

understood. He is very transparent with us with absolutely nothing to hide.


            Today I was thinking about the challenges we have been experiencing over the last few years. Starting about 5 years ago my life took a turn in an extremely negative direction. I was suffering through a time of unfair loss and minimal gain that has brought me to the point I am at right now. The things we endured as a family were not unlike many others I have talked with. I went from being a productive man raising a good family with a great income to wondering how we were going to make the next day.


            Many of the trials we experienced were unfair by worldly standards. Today I can equate all of the times of my life to the basic concept of farming. Our family traveled the eastern half of the country from 1995 through 2001 in a family oriented evangelical gospel singing ministry called The McDowell family. We met many trials along the way but we also experienced who God was. There were over 3600 decisions made by others during those years. I believe the most important thing that happened to our family during those years was that my children witnessed God at work in a very personal way. This not only instilled belief in our Creator but it also bonded the family in a way that can’t be duplicated or defined. Those were challenging but good years for all of us.


            When we quit traveling I took a position as a part time staff member at a church that I had been a member of for approximately 20 years prior. I also took a position of  managing a horse ranch which had been one of my dreams since childhood. After approximately 4 years I felt relaxed and confident that God had rewarded us for our faithfulness and I managed to get quite settled in, I had even made the mistake of thinking that God was done using me in other’s lives, which despite my comfortable surroundings, somewhat troubled me. As in most situations of great blessing some of our friends started to become resentful of our position in life. Of course the standard procedure of humanity is to talk bad about those you envy. Our family became the target of vicious lies and hard nosed accusations. Each and every accusation was incredibly insignificant and could be defined as childish. However starting from the highest level of the church staff we were the subject of silly accusations. The whispering was of hilarious nature so I thought surely this too would pass. Well it did not pass and solely due to the whisperings and gossip of these “friends”, I lost my job on the ranch, which included my home, and I even lost my church home. I am grateful that the things I did not lose were the real friends, my wife and my family. I fact the relationships became even stronger. That has been almost five years ago and we still have not totally recovered from the financial aspect of this episode in my life. But today I realized that this was another example of God using the weakness of other people to help His children become even more usable.


            When I was very young I spent a lot of hours on a tractor plowing fields for my grandfather. The work was long and tedious but after the planting was over it was fulfilling to watch the earth grow the crops. Almost like a miracle! After the plowing there was planting, cultivating, and fertilizing, eventually leading to harvest. The quality and quantity of the harvest was determined by the quality of the dirt  but more so it was dependent upon the attention to detail through the growing season. Watering and fertilizing were the key. Sometimes pruning was in order and of course you need to keep the bugs off of the plants as well.  That leads me to the discussion point of this letter.


            In each of our lives we can look back and see where God is at work with His harvest. We are all living in one of these stages of growth at this very moment. Some of us are just now plowing the field, making choices of direction and working very hard to establish ourselves. Some are watching with great excitement as we grow and develop more of our identity. Some are at a point of nurturing and supplying nutrients to our lives so we can experience the fullness intended for us. Some of us are being pruned and cut back feeling the pain of loss but knowing that a pruned plant produces much more fruit as it develops new growth. Some are ready for the harvest time with great anticipation of the blessings that God has for you.


            The greatest barrier to God’s blessing in life is when we decide we are comfortable and do not move into the waiting stage of our growth. Many times God will move us on our behalf if we do not move ahead on our own. That was what happened to me almost 5 years ago. I was being pruned losing things that I did not want to lose. Thank God He chose to leave my family here with me and I only lost what God wanted me to lose, each thing being easily replaceable.

            Oh, I forgot to tell you. When harvest time comes the rewards are great but the work is hard. The crops don’t jump into the wagons without help!    Now I am ready for the harvest.

             Until later, Dave



Main Page

A Brief History


Projects w/demo

Photo Album

Dave's Blogs

The Family Tradition Band Site