With the Torah cycle beginning once again and the Harvest Season entering full-swing, the time has come to cozy up for the coming winter. Many take this time to prepare for times of lack by saving or preserving the harvest. Think back to when you last ate anything someone you know canned for themselves, like strawberry jam or dill pickles. I have known many “canners” over the years, but it surely seems a lost art now.
Now we have fresh fruit from around the country delivered to our nearest supermarket and “fresh is best” right? And, many varieties are completely seedless, too! Well, today’s fresh fruit may have been picked six weeks ago, and may have traveled from sea to shining sea to get to you, but it is artificially preserved AND you can have all you want, when you want.
I think we are getting lost again in a sea of prosperity – the same one that Proverbs continually reminds us can cause us to forget God. We work all hours, not just nine to five, anymore. We don’t wait for a new Disney movie each year, we can binge on all of them in one weekend! We don’t learn how to wait for anything – because we can buy it on credit and file bankruptcy if that is a problem later.
Except… that is a horrible way to live! Instant gratification and satisfaction on demand can lead us down a path of pride, entitlement, and ungratefulness. So, why am I harping on preserving food? According to the Book of Ecclesiastes we read this season, there is a time and season for everything under the sun.
Let me tell you why you should learn to make jam (or beef jerky)!
At Harvest time, when food is plentiful and the work is done and the barns are full – is obviously the time to thank God. But, honestly, the sound of a “ball jar” popping open is just as good all year round, even after the pumpkin latte is no longer available at the drive through. Preserving is an intentional desire to purposefully save for later. Think about it! To make preserves is to pre-serve.
SO, while rejoicing in His bounty for you this year, remember:
Things to Preserve
Preserve Food – Salt was made to savor and preserve, like the Jewish people (smile), so find something this year that you can purposefully procure to make something to SERVE someone later this year, when the time is right. Trust me, the process will teach you about God and you will “be a blessing,” like the Jewish people are to the whole world. You’ll learn the wonderful blessing of
Preserve Good Will – Intentionally keep your mouth shut at the next family gathering when your opinion – though probably right – should be kept to yourself. Learn to ask God before you speak to loved ones during Holy Days. This will probably not be the last time you see that person. If it happens so, trust God will handle your concerns for them in heaven (smile).
Preserve Your Health – What can you do today to start a path to feeling better? Please stop working harder to produce more, it doesn’t always work. Pray for discernment instead and trust God to help you. Please start resting one day in seven, if you aren’t already. Then, walk occasionally and drink enough water. Just take it one step at a time. Serving God requires strength.
Preserve Life – Study God’s word daily to learn how to make order out of chaos and choose life over death. Only God can fill your lungs, your heart, your mind, your womb, and so on. His love for you is always life-giving. Please stop and think before making choices that waste and destroy yourself or others.
Preserve Seed – Don’t eat all your seed! Seed has the power of potential, and is created to multiply. People that run out of seed don’t have anything left to plant. And people who forget the hidden value of seed are foolish. This harvest time is going to be over in six months and the next season of planting seed will be upon us. Be wise to save some seed to sow this spring for the next year’s blessing.
In doing these things, you’re actually preserving your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control!
Here is a seed of faith from our family to yours – a gift – to know how we aim to live a life worthy of the One who died that we might live. Our family’s favorite verse is from the Book of Hebrews, the end of Chapter 10 and leads right into Chapter 11, often called by Christians the “Hebrews Hall of Fame.”
“…we are not among the timid ones on the path of destruction, but among the faithful ones on the path to the preservation of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39 TLV
This Harvest, we pray that you can feel the love of God so deeply and so richly that you bask in His Presence every day of the week, not just on Shabbat!
We will pray that your family would find ways to express their thankfulness to God in new and tender ways that will make the kind of memories to last for generations.
We will pray that the God of Israel would make Himself known to you so powerfully that your neighbors will rush over to see what amazing grace has surrounded your circumstance.
And, I will pray you find your way HOME to the heart of our Father of Eternity, who loves you so very much. He is your shield, your VERY great reward!