“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
July 23, 2019, I was canvassing in a Target parking lot. Why? Because I had decided to spend a summer as a colporteur to help my mom pay for my school bill. Eight weeks into the program I had already reached my summer goal and was looking for motivation to keep going. On this particular Tuesday, nobody wanted prayers or books. I began to feel discouraged. I had promised God that I would give my books for free if someone truly wanted them. While I walked around the parking lot searching for someone to canvass, I begged God to give me someone who needed to hear the message. All of a sudden, I needed to use the bathroom. As I walked towards the store, I canvassed every person I met. One girl, Jocelyn, was surprisingly friendly. I canvassed her and asked if she wanted any books. She told me she liked one called Peace Above the Storm also known as Steps to Christ, but she didn't have the money to buy it. I felt compassion for her and asked if I could pray with her. She enthusiastically answered "Yes!" and began to share her story. She had been in school but recently lost her job and couldn't afford to pay tuition or rent and on top of financial struggles, she suffered from depression and anxiety. I prayed for her in faith knowing that God would provide for her and while I spoke she began to cry. When we finished, she told me how much she needed that prayer. I was moved to give her Peace Above the Storm and offered her Bible studies which she accepted! My heart was overjoyed that God had used me to bless someone. After Jocelyn left, I walked towards the bathroom and realized I didn't need to use it anymore.
Later that day, I was struggling again. My feet felt like heavyweights as I sluggishly canvassed in the Target parking lot. A Voice told me to sit down and reflect. When I sat down, I reached into my bag of books and found the Bible study contact Jocelyn had filled out. A Voice asked me "Was Jocelyn worth it? If you had made no money this summer, if the long hot days, back and shoulder aches, dehydration, and sore feet were all for Jocelyn, would this summer have been worth it? I was extremely tempted to reply no. Softly the Voice whispered "Jesus walked to Golgotha for you. He knew you would despise him, spit in his face, disobey him, but he had compassion for you. His death was worth it, just for you." I cried. I had forgotten how much Jesus loved me. At that moment, I realized meeting Jocelyn was worth every struggle, every trial, and every pain.
In the Gospel, according to Matthew, he tells us a story of a time Jesus saw a multitude of people, sick, abandoned and helpless; He was moved with compassion for them. The word compassion in Greek is Esplanchnisth it means from the gut like one tearing your intestines and kicking you in the stomach. Because of Jesus' esplanchnisth, he healed them of their sicknesses and turned to his disciples and said: "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few." Few people in this world have the same gut-wrenching pain that Jesus had for us. Hardly anyone can feel compassion as Jesus does. At that moment when I sat staring at Jocelyn's Bible study contact, I felt it. I longed and am longing for her to be whole, to know Christ. My goal for life is to feel more deeply for God's children. Will you choose to know God deeper? Will you choose to sympathize with someone whom you overlook? I encourage you to find your Jocelyn experience. It's worth it.