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Cotton Picking Time

The countryside is marvelous this time of year! For the past few weeks the crop duster planes have zeroed in on their targets, spraying defoliant on the cotton crops to make them shed their leaves. Each day the fields look whiter and whiter. It is almost a paradox when you go sweating down the road and the fields look as if they are covered with snow. They are simply beautiful.

Almost daily you can see the farmer walking in the fields checking his crop. Cotton pickers and all types of machinery are sitting by the roads waiting for the moisture of the morning dew to dry away so they can begin the important work of harvesting the crop.

This nation, as well as other nations, depends on these crops. Only in the old “Sunny South” can you find fine crops of cotton like this. If the farmer picks the cotton damp, it will ruin. If he waits too long, the rains of fall will set in and he cannot get the crop out of the field. He must watch. He must watch carefully.

A few days ago there was a little shower, more like a sprinkle, of rain that fell. The pickers were all waiting beside the road, equipment tuned up, cotton wagons empty and waiting, watching, checking, anxiously awaiting the time to move in and harvest. It’s exciting! I love to see it.

The farmer knows that the time must be right. Not only does he know that, but he watches for it. In our lives there are many harvest that can come. We know that the time must be right. We know that God deals with us in His own time and at His own pace. We are instructed to watch.

Often times, though we know that things are happening in our lives, we will close our eyes and stagger through life oblivious to what is going on around us. God wants us to be watchers. He is a God of order, a God of time.

Listen to this verse. “But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law.” (Galatians 4:4). The word “fullness” here is the Greek word APEX. The apex is the highest point of going up before you begin to go down. God is a God of specific timing. It was so with redemption and it is so with the fullness of our lives.

As I watched the cotton farmers the last few days, I couldn’t help but take a closer look at my life. What am I missing? What is going on in my world that I am not a part of because I’m not watching? It is possible that I could get so caught up in the beauty or the thrill of a crop that I might overlook the need to move in on the harvest?

Life is exciting most of the time. It has its ups and downs, its positives and negatives. For the most part, however, we live good lives. Most often when we feel the lowest and most unloved or unappreciated it is when we are focusing in on the bad in our lives. Look at yourself carefully and see if this statement is not true. While we blindly watch one certain thing in our lives, the whole crop that God is growing around us may be going to waste.

Let’s be more like the farmers. Let’s cultivate a watchful eye that we might have a bountiful harvest just like God intended.