Last year, my husband lost his job. It was a sudden, no-fault layoff because the company was downsizing. We were reeling when we got the news: No warning. No preparation. We had bought our house the night before.
This loss followed a very difficult year of moving to a new state, finding out I was pregnant with our second baby (which was great news, but added a weight to our situation) and trying to save for all of our expenses. We had moved in hopes of a better quality of life, and it seemed like nothing was going as planned.
For over two months my husband looked for a job, and almost a year ago in August, he was finally hired. Now, a year later, we are in a season of harvest. We are able to give in the way others gave to us. We have the time to enjoy our family. We are rooted in our community.
But seasons of harvest are when it’s easy to get lazy. Things are going well, blessings are following the sorrow and loss, and the natural reaction is to sit back and coast. Yet seasons of harvest for those in the agricultural industry—which is where the term harvest comes from—are seasons of work. Times of blessing are times to use what God has given us to bless others in turn.
This doesn’t mean we overextend ourselves or never rest. I believe in resting well; God has modeled this for us. But we must be careful not to use God’s blessings as an opportunity to live selfishly. I often remember what it felt like to be in our tough season last year. I think about who in my community may be struggling the way I did; struggling to trust God, to make ends meet, to keep hope for the future. Helping someone can be as simple as bringing them a coffee and encouraging word.
We don’t always recognize our harvest seasons. Perhaps you haven’t struggled through a financial setback yet, or you haven’t had to navigate a tough relational conflict. That’s okay! A long-term season of blessing is a gift from God. But it’s also a responsibility, because stewarding our time and resources well proclaims His glory.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can use your time and voice to bless others. You can use your presence simply by being with those who are in need. When we aren’t consumed with our own trials, we have the mental space to pour into those who are troubled, and in so doing, we echo the servant heart of Jesus.
Don’t feel guilty for your season of blessing. Use it to bless others! Ecclesiastes says that food, drink and enjoying our work are all gifts from God. But they should be never withheld from those who need them. Use your resources in this season of blessing to point to the God who is Love.