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There Is Hope on the Threshing Floor

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Spiced cider, warm fire place, and the smell of freshly baked bread from the oven are all smells I love during the fall season. I have been thinking these last few days of why I love fall so much. Besides all the yummy foods to eat and company to be had during the fall season (did I mention my birthday also?), I have decided it is much more than all of that.

At the beginning of fall, harvesting begins. The harvest marks the end of the growing season. Many times as Christians we do not look forward to our “growing season.” It hurts! Many times we cannot see things clearly and we do not know what the Lord is teaching us during this time.

The book of Ruth was written during harvest season, and they celebrate the beginning of Harvest with a huge feast and celebration. But before there is a feast, the barley has to go through the threshing floor. To “thresh” the grain means to hit the wheat or barley plants until the grain falls out. The grain was then thrown into the air and the evening wind would blow away the chaff. The chaff was around the part of the plant that was the grain. The chaff would blow away and the grain would remain.  This was the winnowing process (basically the process of eliminating the undesirable parts and the chaff was used to kindle their fire). So what you have left is the good, refined grain ready for people to enjoy.

God does the same thing to us. First we are planted somewhere to grow, we are watered, cared for, and allowed to flourish. Then like the plant we are set to dry out during a season, otherwise known as our desert period. Then life comes at us hard; we are cut down from where we were growing. We are then thrown on the thrashing floor where the chaff and the grain are separated. The chaff represents anything in our life that is not pleasing to God, images we have formed, bad habits we have developed, etc. Next is the winnowing process where only the good remain and the rest is “blown away” and used for fire. God got rid of all the undesirables in us. What we have left is what is good, what is refined and what is pleasing to God.

Once the process of harvesting is completed and the grain is refined, there is a big celebration. In the bible, Boaz celebrated the Feast of Shavuot, one of the things celebrated was “first fruits.” This symbolized the very first grains of the Harvest and a promise of the rest of the harvest to come; the resurrection of all of God’s people.

This is why I like fall so much. It represents a time of celebration, and time of surviving the growing, threshing, and winnowing period of my life. It is a time to give thanks for the blessings in my life. I don’t know about you, but I sure feel like lately I have been living on the threshing floor, but sweet sister, lift your head. The time of refinement is near.

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