FROM BARREN TO HARVEST // JANUARY 14, 2022
"Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” GOD'S DECREE.
“Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim -- one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once -- and everywhere you look: blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel: 'They’ll rebuild their ruined cities. They’ll plant vineyards and drink good wine. They’ll work their gardens and eat fresh vegetables. And I’ll plant them, plant them on their own land. They’ll never again be uprooted from the land I’ve given them.'”
God, your God, says so.
Amos 9:13-15 (MSG)
God had given Amos a vision of what was to come for Israel, saying he was going to shake out all the sin and all the sinners. Then he sent Amos to deliver this harsh message. But God also sent Amos with a glorious promise that he will restore Israel again.
In 2020, our world was shaken up with disease, quarantine, political upheaval, strong racial divides, natural disasters -- and at one point, there were reports of locusts invading dozens of countries. It's no wonder many were asking if this might be the end times. Is Jesus coming back? The world around us seems dark, scary and confusing; what is going on? In these winter months, we might look out at barren trees, staring at something with so much potential, yet completely empty and void of fruit. How can something that looks ravished be good? But vineyard experts look out and see something far different; they see that pruning must take place for crops to stay good. What about the weather and storms? Storms thicken grape skins, making them stronger because of the struggle. So what might look dark, stormy, pruned, barren and empty stands to produce a great harvest.
What looks barren from your vantage point right now? Is it relationships, finances or other circumstances? You might be begging for Jesus to come back, but what if he's asking you today, "Will you come back to me?" Maybe your coming back will help you see what God sees. Maybe as your viewpoint changes, your world will change, too. Maybe the barren you're seeing right now, God looks at and says, "This has so much potential!" Today, write down God's promise in Amos 9:13-15 from The Message translation. Read it and think about it every day (meditate on it). Maybe this is your sign to join a tribe of God's remnant today; take the leap and sign up for our Growth Group, which will challenge you on impacting your world and the world around you. God might be calling you to so much more.