By: Joselyn García, Missionary serving with Genesis in Panama City
“Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white for harvest” (John 4:35).
In order to make the message clear for his Hebrew hearers, Jesus used illustrations from their daily life, including many dealing with agriculture. In John 4, Jesus tries to teach his disciples how to take advantage of opportunities to extend the kingdom.
Discerning that a field was ready for harvest was not the specialty of a few who understood the subject. The golden color of thousands of spikes of grain clearly would have indicated to all who passed by that the harvest time had arrived. But in order to see it, one thing was necessary: the lifting of your eyes.
I want to tell you the story of Judith, a new believer in Carrasquilla, Panama City. Judith is a very helpful and active lady, and we saw her every week when we went through her neighborhood for the kids club we were organizing. Sometimes she wasn’t in a good mood, and we always greeted her, but we hadn’t ever had a deeper conversation with her. Several months passed.
Taking John 4 into account, we might say that we had not yet learned to lift our eyes to see that there was an opportunity in front of us. How many days had we passed by the field and not noticed the harvest?!
One day we were able to have a conversation with her during a difficult time in the community. A great storm had come over the neighborhood, and we decided to visit each family, pray with them, and deliver food and water.
From that point our relationship with Judith grew. We shared Jesus with her, and we began discipleship in her house. She has grown a lot. She constantly tells us how her life has been transformed by Christ and how she has left behind actions and attitudes that did not please God. A few days ago, she took another step of faith. She was baptized!
We thank God for her life, and what he will continue to do in her.
The Holy Spirit is the one who helps and guides us, but many times as a church we have missed countless opportunities to share the gospel. Lifting our eyes is an act of will. Let us decide to look at the world with the eyes of Christ, for He has said in his word that the harvest is ready.
May our prayer be: Lord, give us vision. Count on us. Use our hands to harvest. Lift up our eyes so that we can see beyond the faces of the people we meet. Help us to see their hearts.