His Laborers – Good News for July 6

6 07 2010

Matthew 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

The Daily Path: I’ve been in the Sierra Nevada mountains for a few days now. This respite has provided time for me to live in the moment. The natural beauty surrounding us has cast out some of the worry associated with the future. As I look at these magnificent cathedrals – natural formations that took millions of years to create – I am reminded that it is God’s life plan for me… not my own. Glaciers advancing at a snail’s pace created the magnificence of God’s will. Who am I to worry at the timeline or path that God has created for me.

I must share an amazing moment I experienced while hiking amidst this splendor. In the afternoon, following a stream-side lunch, we stopped our hike above a waterfall. Here the water emerged from a rocky gorge to form a pool where it gathered before plunging downward on its journey to the lake some thousand feet below. It’s a spot known to hikers willing to trek a little beyond the beaten path. It’s also a place where no anxiety can exist, only peace.

We were joined there by a group of ten men who spoke in a dialect other than English. We all shared the boulders that formed a perfect rest area to enjoy this magnificent place. My wife took some photos of the kids who had climbed up onto a granite shelf above us. When they climbed back down, one of the men asked if he could be assistance by taking a group photo of my family. We took advantage of his offer and then shared some conversation that broke the ice. One of the men jumped into the pool to swim across the current. Soon my kids joined in and all cheered as one by one the kids – and me – emerged from the chilly water on the other side.

I offered my knowledge of the local area telling the group of a stunning alpine lake that was just 20 minutes up the rocky trail. After discussing the option in their tongue, about half the group decided to continue onward to see the lake.

At approximately 4:00 pm the four men who remained at the pool with us spread a light blanket on the ground next to a granite wall. One by one they removed their shoes and each in turn knelt on the blanket to pray. The men were Muslims following their daily calls to prayer. This was an incredible moment in a breathtaking venue. I wanted to join them on the blanket in prayer, but chose instead to quietly praise God for all His magnificence as I looked at my family and surroundings.

When it was time to head back down the trail, I said goodbye to each of the men shaking their hand and offering what a perfect place for prayer it was. Each broke into a big smile. In that instant, I felt we recognized each other as children of one God despite any cultural differences.

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.

He has many names, but on this day, the laborers of God were united in true faith and His peace. There was but one Gospel of the Kingdom shared among men in their own way. God gave me a glimpse of heaven and I don’t think I will ever forget the experience.

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