We visited a friend near Aix-en-Province a few weeks ago and got to drive by some lavender fields that were just beautiful. While driving we noticed that there were some men collecting lavender with their reaping machine. I immediately thought of the verse about not reaping the corners of the fields so the poor and strangers could glean at the corners... and I figured that "hey, I'm a stranger...no?" So I asked my husband very nicely if he thought we could glean there. He was sure we could, but he also asked very nicely and the guys said we could take from what was left over...
I know my colours don't match, but you know, I just didn't care that day; the sky was too blue...don't you just love Sunchi's smile
And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
It was wonderful to glean on the fields; the smell was heavenly, and working on the field made me feel so useful, blessed, like I was in the book of Ruth... like I was collecting the Lavender I planted myself! It was wonderful, and we all enjoyed it. I was able to collect so much that I gave quite a big bunch to some of my neighbors, and have left over for my mother-in-law. It makes me happy to think that their homes are filled with the fresh scent of Lavender. I think our encouragements can also have the same pleasing effect on our friends. It doesn't change the circumstances, it is just a smell of something, but it smells like hope and that can make a big difference. I know I'd love some lavender if I was going through winter. But God has a wonderful promise for anyone going through hard times, big or small; His Word says that
"They that sow in tears...
...shall reap in joy."
That's a great promise and the encouraging verse I've been using lately. If you are going through a time of plenty, don't clean the corners of your field, leave some fruit for those around you that are going through hard times or famine. If you are going through difficult times, be of good cheer, the Lord will see you through and He promises that soon, after the winter you will reap in JOY! And we'll be right there rejoicing with you, if not begging for a bite... but it's all good!
There is another famous Bible verse about sowing..."Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap Galatians 6:7... you know? But that's a whole different story.