Master of the Harvest
There is a legend that goes back many years, it is the story of the Master of the Harvest. In early spring, the Master of the Harvest walked by the side of his wheat fields with a frown on his weathered face. You see, there had not been any rain for several weeks and the earth was hard from the parching of the east winds. The young wheat plants had not yet made their appearance above ground. At the sight of this, the Master of the Harvest grumbled and said, “The harvest will be backward, and all things will go wrong.” He frowned more and more and uttered the vilest complaints against Heaven because there was no rain, and against the earth because it was so dry. The Master’s complaints spread far and wide and the discontent echoed across the fields, and was heard even by the little wheat plants striving to come up. The poor little seeds murmured, How cruel to complain! Are we not doing our best? Have we let one drop of moisture pass by us unused?”
The Master of the Harvest returned to his comfortable home and repeated his dark and gloomy words to his wife. She said nothing, but turned and took her bible from the shelf and wrote the following words on a piece of paper. “Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice: for the Lord hath done great things. . . . he will make the early and latter rain come down to you as in the beginning. And the floors will be filled with wheat.” (Joel 2:21, 23-24) She then slipped the paper back into the bible.
About one week later the skies opened and gentle but steady spring rains watered the parched earth and the wheat began to sprout. The Master walked by his field and notice the new life breaking through the dark earth, he seemed not to care much and talked about other things and did not rejoice. Then a murmur rose among the little wheat plants. “The Master was angry because we did not come up, now that we have why is he not glad?” And when the Master’s wife asked him if the wheat was doing well, he answered, “Fairly well,” and nothing more. His wife had again taken her bible and pulled out the sheet of paper and began to write: “And he who ministereth seed to the sower will both give you bread to eat and will multiply your seed and increase your growth of the fruits of your justice; That being enriched in all things, you may abound unto all simplicity, which worketh through us in thanksgiving to God.”( 2 Cor. 9:10-11)
As the growing season continued the land was blessed with fine weather and the wheat grew tall and strong. But the Master still had fault to find. He looked at the wheat and grumbled noticing that he wished that they were bigger. “The yield will be less than it ought to be,” said the Master, “the harvest will be bad.” At the voice of the discontent, the wheat cried out, “How thankless to complain! Are we not growing as fast as we can? If we were idle would we bear wheat -ears at all? How thankless to complain!”
Meanwhile a few weeks went by and a drought settled on the land. Rain was needed so that the wheat-ears might fill out. And behold, while the wish for rain was yet on the Master’s lips, the sky became full of heavy clouds, darkness spread over the land, a wild wind arose, and the roaring of thunder announced a storm. And such a storm! The wheat plants were bent by the wind to the ground and rose again like waves of the sea. They bowed down and where the whirlwind was the strongest the wheat fell to the ground never to rise again.
And when the storm was over, the Master of the Harvest saw here and there, patches of overweighed wheat, yet dripping from the thundershower, and he grew angry with them, and forgot about all those plants still standing. His face grew darker than ever. He spoke bitterly against the rain, and cursed the sun because it did not shine. He blamed the wheat because it might perish before the harvest. “But why does he complain?” moaned the wheat plants. “Have we not done our best from the first? Has not God’s blessing been with us? Are we not growing daily more beautiful in strength and hope? Why does not the Master trust, as we do in the future richness of the harvest?”
Then the year was complete, the wheat burst forth and the autumn harvest was ready. Then the wheat cried out in joy, “Surely the earth hath yielded her increase! Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits! Where now is the Master of the Harvest? Come, let him rejoice with us.” At that moment the Master’s wife brought out the bible with the page of handwritten passages she had written from the day the seeds were planted, and handed it to her husband. As he read a new heart seemed to grow within him, a heart that was thankful to the Lord for the Great Harvest. With joy on his face, and true thanks in his heart, he read aloud the final words on the sheet that his wife had handed him:
“So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”