I shared with you yesterday about my Aunt Sherry and canning beans.  After I wrote that motivation, the Lord began to show me some things.  Things that I want to share with you today.

It has been about ten years ago that my aunt taught me to can and freeze foods for winter.  The first year was expensive for me.  I had to buy jars, lids, pots, canners, salts and all the supplies.  And I bought all my beans, potatoes, and cucumbers.  Everything I wanted to can or freeze and put up for winter, I purchased.  It was that way for the first four years or so.

Each year, I purchased jars and supplies.  Each year, I purchased the beans, cucumbers, potatoes, peaches, and apples.  All the things I wanted to put away, I bought.

Each year, I also gave a portion of my harvest.  I always, always canned enough extras to give away.  For four years, I gave away canned green beans.  Lots of them. I gave away canned potatoes, peaches, apples, and pickles.  Year after year, I gave. I wasn’t doing it for any reason other than giving is a lifestyle for me – it’s in my heart to share my harvest.

After a few years of this a friend of mine called and asked if I needed some jars.  “YES!” I exclaimed!  The jars were the most expensive cost, and I was so thankful for her offer.  Plus I love different jars, that may sound silly, but I just love old jars. On my next trip to Ohio, I came back with a carload of jars.  They jiggled and rattled all the way home, it was loud, but I was blessed! I have used those jars for years and will continue to use them many more.

After four years of this, something changed.  I hadn’t prayed for it, and I didn’t even think about it, but after a few years of sharing my harvest, I no longer had to purchase beans.  My Aunt Sherry began to call and say, “we have extra beans, if you want to pick them, they are yours.’

Now, my beans were free. Eventually, she would call and say, “do you want to do pickles?  I have extra cucumbers, come get some if you want.”

For several years, I did not purchase beans or cucumbers.  While that was awesome, a couple years later, it all changed!

Last year, my Aunt Sherry once again gave me all my beans and cucumbers.  But it didn’t end there.  At the beginning of planting season, my Uncle Bobby called and asked what kind of beans I liked.  I told him.  He then told me he was planting me a row of beans and two rows of potatoes.  All I had to do was come get them.  Oh my! That was wonderful but it didn’t stop there either. My Mom called and said my stepdad was going to plant me a row of potatoes, I only needed to come dig them.  Oh, my word!  Double portion.

I love Kennebec potatoes. I try to buy enough to last through winter each year – that year, I didn’t have to buy any. My harvest came in, it was amazing.

But it didn’t happen overnight.  And it didn’t happen without my participation.  I sowed.  And sowed.  And continued to sow.  Year after year.  I sowed a portion of everything I harvested. Beyond sowing, I did the work of harvest. I picked beans with sweat running down my face and bugs trying to eat me alive. I dug potatoes until my fingers ached. I canned and canned – and I smiled all the way – why? Because my harvest had come in! You can’t tell me sowing doesn’t work.

2 Corinthians 9:6 says, The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Luke 6:38 says, Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. 

If you want a harvest, it only comes one way.  Sowing.  And it doesn’t come overnight.  You must make up your mind that you are going to be a giver.  You will give consistently.  You won’t quit giving until you see harvest.  Even then, you won’t quit giving until you see the double portion.  And certainly, don’t stop giving then.  After the double portion will come overflow.

Last year, I had two, not one, two gardens of beans to pick from for free.  I had two gardens to dig potatoes from that year.  I had all the jars I will ever need.  I was ready and willing to do the work to bring in my harvest.  I saw overflow.

It is teaching me how to see overflow in other areas of my life.  I will have to do the same thing I did with vegetables and jars…sow and sow again.  In my sowing, I shall surely reap.  I did not allow myself to become discouraged in my giving and I am so very thankful for that.  God is faithful.  A man will live entirely by what he sows, I am seeing this truth in my own life.

This analogy may sound odd to you – but it is teaching me the laws of seed time and harvest in a practical way.  One that I can implement in every area of my life.  I am so excited to be seeing a manifestation of my years of faithful giving.  I am so excited to be seeing my harvest in such a wonderful way.  I am thankful to be reaping where I have sown.  Praise to the Lord of the Harvest.

Now, we are in a new year. I smiled today as I put a jar of my fresh, from last year, green beans in the kettle, knowing I will soon have many more in my cabinet. I smile when I look out at my garden, knowing abundance is coming. I smile because God is faithful. What we sow, we reap! Thank you, GOD, for the increase.  May we each see increase this year, in Jesus’ name.  In practical ways and in supernatural ways.