In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus tells his disciples: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
As we gathered in the conference room this morning, we reflected on the need for more harvest workers—families who are willing to open their hearts and homes to children in foster care. We pray daily for the Lord to send more people willing to work in His harvest, and we are so encouraged every time we license a new family, make a new placement, or watch an adoption. When the Lord answers our prayers in such a tangible way, we rejoice and thank Him for His perfect plan and timing.
Yet, even with these encouraging moments, there are still times when the overwhelmingness of the “plentiful harvest” can be discouraging to us. We want to see tangible results right away and so we take matters into our own hands and try to make harvest workers on our own strength. God knew we would do this so He gave us the gentle reminder to “Ask the Lord of the harvest” for more workers. What a perfect opportunity for prayer!
The verse right before the call for harvest workers says this:
“When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 NIV.
Harassed, helpless, without a shepherd. These qualities perfectly describe the situation of children in foster care; they are desperate for a shepherd to guide them to the safety of the flock and to care for all their needs.
One 4KIDS team member shared that the Lord placed on her heart the knowledge that those of the “plentiful harvest” are searching for truth and a guide. We want to care for the physical and emotional needs of the children we place, but we also know that the ultimate need of these children is for them to feel the love of Jesus and to know Him as their shepherd and guide through life.
And so we pray for more harvest workers to help with children in foster care, but we pray also for these children to know the guidance and shepherding of Jesus.