Autumn is such a wonderful season. It is a season of harvest, it is a reminder that what we reap, we will sow. As Ania and I gathered heaping baskets of apples, I was reminded of the harvest I am gathering through my children.
Years ago, I sometimes felt like a broken mommy record. I was saying the same thing every few minutes, correcting a child for the same offense or cleaning up the same mess. I know that the Bible says that I should not grow weary in well doing, for if I do not faint, I will reap. Many times in the past, I felt like fainting or in other words- quitting, but I didn’t.
Now, I have confirmation, I have seen the seeds grow into plants and produce good fruit. Recently, my sister-in-law came for a visit and we made campfire hobo meals. My son, Hunter, on his own, went up to the kitchen, got my longaberger basket and filled it with fiestaware plates and other necessary items. He did just what he had seen me do and he probably heard my little speech in his head about how we celebrate life, use the best, etc..
Of course, there is always the chance of rotten fruit. When Ania and I were picking the apples, I climbed the ladder and reached high for the perfect looking apple, only to find out it was rotten inside. Disappointed, I threw it into the woods for the deer.
I have seen rotten fruit develop in my children, despite my training and admonition. It is disappointing, but I remind myself that each of my children has a free will and when he passes the age of accountability, he answers to God. Yes, I still have to give consequences for the sin. When one of my children displays rotten fruit, I feel as if I have a knife plunged through my heart and I find myself reviewing all of my parenting methods. Where did I mess up, how did my child get so off track? Where is this coming from? I’m sure God, the Father, felt that way when his first two children chose to eat the fruit, the first rotten fruit decision.
I am sure that God, although he already knew the outcome, was devastated, broken-hearted, He had given His children all that they had needed and they disobeyed. The results were catastrophic. Yet, He did not given up on them, He had a family meeting, gave them the consequences and began the plan of redemption (Genesis 3).
When I see the harvest in my children’s lives-good and bad fruit- I can look at both in two ways: I can thank God or I can thank myself. Of course when the fruit is good, I want to thank myself, but that is pride. It is not my wonderful parenting techniques that have made my children turn away from sin, it is the grace of God. When I see a harvest of rotten fruit, I can still thank God, because the alternative is the blame myself. When I blame myself, it just doesn’t make any sense. I stay angry at the child and I am wrapped up in a blanket of guilt. If I thank God, it becomes an opportunity for Him to work in the child through the prayerfully considered consequences. Harvest season can be beneficial either way.