There is so much need. There are so many people who are harassed. There are so many people desperately in need of any kind of help at all.
It didn't have to be this way, but it is. We decided we didn't need our creator. We decided we can have our own kingdoms. How is that going for us? How many times have we opined, "Well of course it would be good if everyone truly loved one another, but...we shouldn't steal from one another, but...it would be great to walk around our neighbourhoods without fear, but...loving families with a happy, devoted parents who are truly intimate to each other for life would be best for children, but..."
How long? How long must we sing this song? When will we gain wisdom? When will we surrender our kingdoms and say "Enough!" When will we acknowledge that we do need our creator? That we do need His kingdom in order to live life to the full?
Thankfully our Father in heaven is not a cruel father. Thankfully he has not left us to futilely clean up our own mess. He sent His son to do the work that we could not do on our own. But, in taking the form of a servant, in becoming one of us, Jesus became limited. He could only be at one place at one time. He needed food. He needed sleep. He needed rest.
I can only imagine what was going on in Jesus' mind as he was walking from town to town healing people while taking the time to proclaim the good news about the kingdom of heaven. He did so much. But, as much as he did, the crowds grew larger. Jesus was rightly seen as the only hope for so many people. People who were disregarded and ignored, their desperation taken advantage of, whose very existence was a daily struggle now saw a chance at a better life in this amazing carpenter-rabbi from Nazareth.
This visible scene is heart-breaking enough, but for Jesus who came from heaven it had to have been so much harder. He knew the countless crowds across the face of the entire earth who needed the same message, the same work as he was doing for these relatively few in this historically obscure portion of the globe.
I can picture the expression on Jesus' face as he looked out over the harassed and helpless crowds and pleads with the very same people who he was currently training, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Generations later, in other parts of the world, there are many of us who have heard the good news of the kingdom of heaven precisely because people faithfully honoured this very request from our Lord Jesus and our Father in heaven, the Lord of the harvest, indeed answered our pleas.
And yet, for those whose eyes have been opened and hearts have been melted by our Lord Jesus to the world around us, we know that the harvest is still plentiful and the workers are still few. Father, please keep sending out workers into your harvest field. Thank you for gathering us together as your people and allowing us the awesome privilege of rolling up our sleeves and preparing those in your fields to be gathered as well.