The Smell of Harvest

The sun, at least for this year, seems to be waning a little. Autumn is here. It is time for harvesting paddy rice in different parts of the world.

I gazed out at my window while sipping hot water in the morning. I could sense the smell of harvest visiting my nostrils, amidst the stinky city air.

In my younger days, we’d been harvesting paddy rice every autumn at the onset of winter. When the foggy morning could no more hide the sun, we’d started working in the fields. With no machinery at hand, we always do it the traditional way.

The smell of rice harvesting is sweet. The year’s hard work finally paid off. It was a good feeling to see rice mounted after few hours of working. Hoards of jokes at lunch time kept all workers enthralled.

Traditional way fo harvesting paddy rice
Traditional way of harvesting rice for interpretation
The haystacks collected, in the end, are a huge treat for children. It is a new ‘play area’ that comes once in a year. The best part is the thanksgiving feast that followed.

Walking past the harvested rice, the smell is a combination of sweet and that awful asthmatic smell from the hay. The rice plants are standing strong through the entire season before the seeds could be harvested. And that makes them have a worn-out or awful smell.

Sadly, most the paddy fields during our childhood days are submerged in the man-made water dam, which was built some years ago. It is more of a saddened truth that the main source of food for the villagers in the countryside has been destroyed.

In the present scenario, the smell of harvesting was a far cry, for many, in the region. There’s not enough space to sow crops. The fertile lands have been submerged. No crops being sown means nothing to harvest, even though harvesting time has come.

There’s nothing to harvests. And that’s sad!

The Threshing Period:

In our life, we had undergone through some threshing period. It was terrible times we’d endure to get the best out of ourselves. However, the kind of threshing we endure would be different from one another based on the desired outcome.

In the traditional way of harvesting paddy rice, the threshing part is most important. Threshing the hay separate the eatable from the uneatable. Muscled men threshed the bundle of hay against a wooden or hard object so that the seeds could be collected for storing. Anyway, that is the main job of a harvester.

Our life is a preparation time for eternity. In this preparation period, we may anticipate threshing in some way. The process would make us smell good in the eye of the Lord. Moreover, if we are fully prepared, we smell of a good harvest in our ripening age.

Personally, the physical pain that I’d endured in my daily life, although not for the cause of the gospel, I hope, would ripen me for His harvest. It is my prayer that the constant uneasiness and pain would mould me into deeper faith in Him.

Therefore, dear readers, let us try to abide in Him in this threshing period.


By way of refresher, let’s reflect on harvesting mentioned in the Bible:

First, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4) Night is no more a good time for work. The land has been submerged, as discussed above, so there’s no possibly of work in the region.

Second, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few,” Jesus Christ said to his disciples. (Luke 9:37-38) “Ask your Father, to send out more workers.” There will be a time when harvest cannot be done anymore.

Third, Act now! “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months until the harvest?’ I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35) It’s more of a ‘now or never’ in the work of God.

Lastly, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)

The inspiring stories of harvesting for the gospel of Christ could never be omitted. Although I am not going to share with you today. It was a job where all the workers are very much contented with, unlike other jobs.

Now, after the harvesting works are done, it is time to inspect the food barn. It was a very good feeling to see our food barn was full. But that did not happen every consecutive year. Several factors, seen or unseen, are behind the harvested values of the year.

In some of the years, we could not meet the demands of the family. But nothing can be done, the time for sowing and watering had gone. Only one thing we can do; we must try to do it better in the coming years.


There was a song, which we sang during my Sunday School days. The song must be inspired by Psalms 126. In these short verses, our lives and its anticipated elements – tears, joy, weeping, reaping, tears of joy, and songs of joy are all mentioned.

The verses read:
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. (Psalms 126:5-6)

Even the bitter planter expected the sweet smell of harvest. The smell of harvest brings joy to all human. All things are possible with God!

The Fumigated Room

They have fumigated the place with certain chemicals. I did not enquire about the chemicals they used.

It was nothing unusual. It is a hospital so they are sterilizing the place. At first, my nose easily detects, for me, the unusual smell. In a day or two, I’d get used to it.

Peeking back, we were enjoying game time with our Church’s Children Department in a huge park, two days ago. My kids take part in some of the games too.

In that lush greenery of the park, all the participants were having best days of our life, or at least for that particular year. I’d never expected what is going to happen in the next few days. I had already written how I ended up in the hospital.

What is Fumigation?

Before I proceed further, I will tell you what is fumigation? Fumigation is a process of gaseous sterilization, which is used for killing of micro-organisms and prevention of microbial growth in air, surface of wall or floor.

In its Verb form, fumigate is to disinfect or purify using certain chemicals with fumes. In our life, we needed to be cleansed or get purified. The hospital rooms are fumigated so as to reduce unwanted infection, which would help in steady recovery of the patient.

In the Fumigated Room:

In one of the small hospital rooms, I was there lonely and lost in what to think next. Few years ago, I’d chose to stay at home with my children as much as I could. We’ve been spending good times with my children when this happened.

My children missed me. And I too missed them a lot. My wife must be tired trying to maintain balance atmosphere between home and hospital. It never was the part of life we’ve planned nor did we expect this to happen.

In that fumigated room, I realized human plans are worthless. Looking back at, what I called, my life I acknowledge my transgressions and I desired to be cleanse thoroughly. I desired to be fumigated by the Holy Spirit, and prayers ensued.

This fumigated room was never enjoyable. In my normal physical being I won’t be here. My bed was all I have. My steps, whether I am stepping out or not, were watched very carefully. However, it was a good place to ponder over the words of God.

Once I remember reading Psalms 51. Psalms 51 was a psalm of David when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. His ultimate desire to be clean again, to renew his steadfast spirit, and not to cast him away can be seen.

In Psalms 51, the writer wrote: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin are ever before me. Make me to hear joy and gladness that the bones which you have broken may rejoice. Create in me a clean heart, O God. (Part of verses 2, 3, 8, and 10)

The unacceptable becomes acceptable, and the once unclean becomes clean in the blood of Jesus Christ. In the blood of Christ all things become new creation, for those who believes.

Refining Process:

Now, the rough phases of life and adversities, we faced in life, are the unlikely refiner’s fire in discipleship. There are times when we are unable to desire cleaning in our smooth daily life.

As the refiner puts his gold in the fire to get the best out of it, we too are, sometimes, put in fire to get the best out of us. However, the process might be intimidating and painful. That is because we are a functional human. When we are no more functional, it would be too late.

The refiner’s fire does not burnt indiscriminately. It does not consume nor does it destroy completely. It refines. It purifies. It separate out the impurities and leaves all the good values intact.

Should there be no night, we would not appreciate the day. We must partake of the bitter with sweet. And I know, it was easier said than done. But that is the harsh reality of life.

Dear reader, today I wanted to instigate the desire for going through that fumigated room or refiner’s fire. And to those of you who are still in that fumigated room, may you gain strength to endure the process. It is not sweet but I hope, it will be, later.

In the end, there is hope in the blood of Jesus Christ. It is our complete cleaning for our sinful soul, which reconnect us to our Creator.

Have my heart, O Lord.
Cleanse me from my sin.
Have the core of my heart.
Clean every room inside me,
Purify me, as pure as gold.

Restore me to the joy of your salvation,
I will sing of your righteousness.
My mouth will declare your praise,
Your will be done
In my life

The Passenger Seat

“Hit the brake now, Papa!” exclaimed my son, few times, on our way back home from his school.

He was sitting deep, beside me, in the passenger seat. I was well aware that he was unable to see from my point of view.

Each time he reminded, I’d told him, “Okay son, thank you for your reminder. But take it easy.”

“Did you pray before you turn on the music?” he asked.

“Yes, I did.”

“Well then, I will sleep. When we reached home, please wake me up.” He really did laid back and tried to sleep as he was tired playing in his school.

“That’s trusting!” I said to myself as we drive our way home on that busy road, with lots of potholes in it.

I once heard about a couple driving their new car: The husband, who was driving, lets his wife get off midway, as she was too good an adviser, yet she cannot drive. Too much irritating for the husband, it seems. He arranged to pick her up again as soon as he reached home.

It is all about trusting and having faith as we follow a specified leader. In other words, it is called discipleship. Today I wanted to focus in following our Savior; Jesus Christ.

Who’s in the driver’s seat?

If we are to take a seat in the passenger seat of life, that required some sort of surrendering to the driver. The driver would take us home, in the best way possible for us to reach home, safe and sound.

In our everyday life, we are faced with an option to choose who would be our driver. That choice would reflect on the kind of life we lived and also hugely control our way of life. Free will, we are given this matter.

It might be a good reminder for us that there is a driver in our life. We are only entitled to take the passenger’s seat. The earlier we gave in the earlier we would get comfort in life.

Jesus in the Driver’s Seat:

Let me reiterate here and again that Jesus being in your drivers’ seat do not mean you’d be steered cleared of all iniquities of life. Afflictions are still on the road but He would guide you through that, sometimes, very bumpy ride.

The comfort and internal securities would be always intact when we put our trust in Him. The bumpy rides would make us stronger in faith, love Him more, trust Him more, and closer to Him, as we travelled on life’s journey.

He would hit the brake when He finds it necessary. There are times we hardly knew the reasons. It is because we are unable to see from His point of view. It seems unbearable at times but He knows best!

“For my thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8) There are matters, circumstances, happenings, and the likes, which are left to be understood when we meet Him face to face.

The longer the journey and more uncomfortable the more we would talk to Him. The boundless fellowship we would enjoy. He has lots to offer on the way so that we grow in His likeness.

Now, ponder over what Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

A disciple (in the passenger seat) must surrender to His will, take up their hardships or adversities of life, and not preceded Him in serving His purpose.

No human should try to precede or intervene in His purpose less we become an agent of the devil: a stumbling block to Him, and worst, even to our fellow believers.

We must follow Him, not overtake, He is the leader. We must let Him be the leader, a guide in our path.

Let me end herewith this short verse, I wrote, sometime ago:

The Rugged Road

Busy in my own thoughts I am
The road’s lonely, my ride’s bumpy
The rugged road’s hard to tread
Jammed here in this road I chose
Silence befall, no voice I hear
Drive me out of my lonely den

My chains unshackled
In His blood I am freed
Free to follow Him faithfully
Boundless love afloat my way
Owing my loyalty to Him forevermore

**
Lead me on the way
You are good and faithful
You are my strength
Enable me to tread on heights
In fellowship we would stay
My blessed Savior you are!

In The Drivers’ Seat Again

There was a date with an asterisk mark in my journal. It must be a day with significance, I thought, so I looked back on that particular day:

On that day, it was written, I buckled in the drivers’ seat again and drove my way to church. Few things I had noted down on the small piece of paper. A note of thankfulness was also noted in the end as well, as in my mind. I could still recall that day.

in the drivers' seat again
In the drivers seat on a crowded road
Some of you might not believe, how crowded our roads could get, in the city we lived. On some days, it could take us a little less than an hour, to drive through some thirteen miles stretch. So, at a very slow pace, I tried driving in the driveways inside our locality before moving onto the next.

Again, I used this word, because I was unable to drive my car for more than one year. A series of long hospital stay had followed. Eventually, I also ended up in the operation table where amygdalohippocampectomy was done on me.

My God worked wonders, so I was able to drive on that day again. I am not trying to write down those pain and procedures I had endured during that time, to make it short.

Well, carefully, I drove to our church. No one knows the inside me when I reached our church. The person, who could have ended up in a decorated wooden box, was able to drive to the church on his own again. Few drops of tears were shed in happiness.

The Hymns, on that day, seems to have really connected with me and my Savior. My heart was filled with praise although I have difficulty in singing to my heart’s desires. That silent thanksgiving and prayers, in the midst of many, which filled my mouth were heart wrenching.

I had, thoroughly, enjoyed that short period of time I could sit inside our church. However, I had to make my way out from the crowded to a place where it is much quieter and calm.

It might not be as special for someone, as it was a normal thing to do on Sundays. But I was made able to sit in the drivers’ seat again so it was special for me.

God worked in so many ways, for His unworthy son like me that I feel blessed to have enjoyed His guiding hand in my so-called good and bad times of my life. Again, let my happiness and thankfulness be known to Him, in the highest.

Two more things, in my mind, I wanted to share with you:

In the drivers’ seat of my life:

In the drivers’ seat of life again means that I am able to take care of myself again, at some extent.

I did not enjoy those days when I needed to be accompanied and helped by someone, in every step I take. Toileting was one among them, which I needed help. There are good people around me, who could help me, from time to time. And I was thankful for that.

But, believe it nor not, toileting was a very private matter for a person. It was very normal and easy for a healthy person. Yet when you need help in these things in your conscious or semi-conscious state, it does not feel good at all.

What we consider normal could become a very heavy task to perform, when our normal body did not follow our commands. This was one of the lessons I had learned in the process. There are many things on this list.

Being able to perform our daily chores, at workplace or at home, was a huge blessing. Let us give thanks for all the work behind the scene, which our God had performed, so that we might lead a normal life.

Jesus in the drivers’ seat:

Putting Jesus Christ in the drivers’ seat would save us from many unwanted circumstances. But remember it does not mean we would be steered cleared of all the difficulties or adversities of life.

Being Jesus Christ in our drivers’ seat would give us comfort, even enjoyment, in our worst circumstances of life. His presence is more than enough in our lives.

Jesus Christ declared, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

It was, and also is, through Him that we would get to the Father. If we let Him take His place in the drivers’ seat, all will be well.

In my upcoming post we will talk more about Jesus in the drivers’ seat. Stay blessed!

Conforming or Not

We know it was risky and he too was well aware of it, I hope. He came running to leap forward and jump into the river bank below. But then, he stopped at the edge of the river wall about fifteen meters high.

“Jump! Jump! Jump! You can do it,” we shouted. We cheered him to give it another try.

He looked down calculating in his mind whether he’d be able to reach the water. There was a huge deposition, near the water, caused by the recent mud sliding. He couldn’t get his pride killed easily.

We cheered him again. I don’t remember who started it. We wanted to let him do it by any means, it seems. We, bunch of boys, conformed to let him jump so that he might learn his lesson.

This time, more determined, he went back. And he came running as we are still cheering for him. He jumped from that height!

THUD! A sound burst! He couldn’t make it to the water! He was reeling in pain. The clapping and cheering had stopped suddenly.

We quickly swim to the other side of the river. We stand nearby him. There was no immediate help available. We don’t know what to do. After sometime, he came back to sense. It was huge relief for all of us.

This happened during our pre-teen and early teen years. We easily fall prey to what is commonly known as peer pressure. We try to avoid being different and bear the wrath of ‘the brutes’ among our group of friends. Especially when we’re going for a swim, away from home, in the river nearby the hills.

Having not protested against the unwanted cheering and clapping, which caused great pain to one of our friend, I regretted a lot. Yet I am glad he has learned his lesson and does not sustained any irreparable damage to his body.

Conformity:

Conformity, in other words, is succumbing to pressure groups. To conform is to act in accordance with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices, compliance to the surroundings, and the likes.

It is one of the most difficult stages to overcome in life, especially during our pre-adolescence or adolescence period. In our adolescence years, we wanted to be accepted, have friends and abide by their or our rules.

Grownups, like you and me, must have been through these stages in our life, I hope. However, the way we have experienced and overcome the same would different. The time has come now, for us to help our young ones when they been through this stage.

My young friends, if you are still in this phase, do not get discouraged if you cannot get conformed to your surroundings. This is one of the many tests of life you are about to get passed with flying colors. It is important to not get carried away with the swarm of flies.

In case, you are faced with dilemma day in and day out, ask our God for His abiding help and presence. The hormonal changes and the adrenaline rush are not easy to get by, but it can be conquered.

Do Not Conform:

It is enjoyable, pleasurable, and easily addictive to conform in the ways of the fallen world. Everyone enjoyed doing sinful practices, although with guilt ridden heart. The pleasure and enjoyment can be short-lived.
Now, let see what the Bible says for a believer to follow:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

‘Dare to be different’, in a good way, in the likeness of Christ is what the Bible teach. Do not depend on your own interpretation of God’s word, it can be hugely misleading.

We have lived in the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air. All of us lived among them at one time, following the desires of flesh and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3) But we have been saved by the grace of God.

Not conforming also means to not go with what the majority are doing in a place or time, if our deeds would demean our faith as well as others.

Participation and separation in the fallen world is a pilgrimage in progress. (2 Cor. 6:17) Our participation to the world must not discourage others nor should our separation hurt other person, in our path to follow Christ.

A Reason to Love

We were observing our story time, one late noon, in our home.  All their home assignments were done.  We lie down while I narrate Biblical stories, repeating each time they’d requested.

“Papa, papa, I love you very much”, said my son holding my right hand tightly.

“I love you too, son.  Any special reasons….?” I replied feeling a bit curious.  At which time, his younger sister was already asleep in my left lap.

“I am happy when you are with us.  We really missed you when you stayed in the hospital.” He continued.  He was referring to a series of my long hospital stay sometime ago.

He also slept peacefully in my arm, after I had assured him that, if God’s willing, that would not happen again in the near future.  It, really, is a great privilege to feel the love of young kids.

Our Many Reasons:

Now, we all wanted to be love.  Also, we wanted to love all people, if ever, that’s a possibility.  However, knowingly or unknowingly, we set some reasons so that we could love a person and vice versa.

There’s no real reason to love.  Love today can vanish in thin air if you got so many reasons to evaluate every now and then.  It is not an obligation but a sincere heart has love deeply rooted in them.

It is easy to love a person with whom we have same interest.  In that scenario, it is unlikely that the other person might not bring harm nor inflicted pain, in any case.

What if I say, I am loved because I have to be loved, would you agree?  Parents have to be loved because they are our parents.  It is through them that we are introduced to this wonderful life.  Believe it or not, they tried their best for our upbringing.  And, they went through severe pain when they are unable to meet our needs.

Some of us love a person till they are able to meet their expectations.  If somebody loves me then they have to adjust or bear with me; that’s the attitude.   So many conditions we have set to love someone.  Yes, I agree that for no reason we can’t love a person.  But that reason should not defy our approach.

Should that be the case, there will be a time where love can become pale or inexistence.   The love of a mother and a father are timeless.  It is, always, abiding in nature.  It is a great privilege to know of such a love.

The more reason you try to gather the less you’d love.  Recalling your sacrifices more often the more you’d gets dejected.  The more you took pride in loving someone the less you would get contented.

Love comes from God

Love comes from God: We love because He first loved us. (1 John 14:19)  This is the greatest source of love.  We are loved so we know how to love, and we loved Him back.  And this love is hugely contagious.

Here please feel with me, in these short verses I wrote:

You First Loved Me

I still remember that feeling
That feeling deep in my heart
How can I forget the eagerness?
I am unable to hold any longer
I wanted to let it known to you.
When I realized, I have been loved.

You gave me Comfort
You gave me Hope
You gave me Love
Because you first loved me
Your son I had become
I love you Jesus
I love you Jesus, my Savior

**
Slain by my sinful soul,
Your sacrifice is overwhelming.
You rose from the dead
Victory over death you proclaimed
My wonderful friend forever be
In you, I will abide.

I am yours now
Have me all, have my being
Because you first loved me
Each step we take, together we will
One at a time, until we got home.

To Die Or Not To Die

As if in our hand, some of us tried toying with our life. When we hit rock bottom with no chance of recovering, we are tempted to think about it.

It might be unnecessary or unbelievable to even think about ‘to die or not to die’, but let us talked about it. The more relevant question must be the timing; now or when?

A year ago, I have my tryst with death too. For some hours I’d remain unconscious. It was not a great moment to recall the pain, when I become conscious again. But let me put a few here:

In that bout of my status epilepticus, I was given a chance to live again. All the things that worked together on that particular day cannot be a coincidence. The hand of God was surely involved, I would say. From the unknown vegetable vendor to all needed timely helpers and help I have received, it was clear that it was God who spared my life.

Seventy percent of patients who experience such episode resulted in death. It was written in the research paper I had read. I have made some research on my own about my illness. However, my doctors advised not to indulge in that process so I had deleted all my sources. If not, I could have shown you their findings.

Had I not regained consciousness I would have been dead, simple yet nerve wrecking. But I would be with my Savior, resting in His arms. People might say how unfortunate we would have been or otherwise. It’s just my supposition. Life, here on earth, will end there abruptly.

Purpose of Life:

I find no reason to boast or take pride in calling it our own life. It’s my life’, that’s how we called it often. We are not the owner of our life. God has a purpose in creating us.

Job, in the Bible, says, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) God’s purpose cannot be undone. There are many verses to show God has a purpose for every man. “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5). Insight, from God, is needed to find it out.

For a believer, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Let me put it here about purpose of life. We wanted to talk more about the problem.

The Problem:

As I was recovering, my physical being was not restored at one go. It takes time to be able to leave the hospital. The pain, distorted eyesight, and other problems are not easy to bear. It is something normal to happen in life.

When something unusual happened: health not improving as we’d wanted, the unending financial crisis, our prayer not materializing, difficulty caused by choosing the wrong educational course, and many more, could makes us worry.

Many of us wanted to die instead of suffering more hardships and pain. But we should remember that to die is not the solution to everything. Sometimes, I also wanted to die, to take rest with Him, but I still have so many things to do; my purpose not yet fulfilled.

For those of us who lived with constant pain and difficulty, the journey could get challenging. But remember Jesus Christ is nearby you, watching you closely.

In our pain, He is pained. In our joy, He remained joyful. He wanted us to fight the good fight and overcome victoriously. In our suffering we are not alone although most of the time we seem to be alone.
When my purpose is fulfilled I would be taken home, even if I am not ready. So, don’t be tempted to die before the time comes. The time will surely come.

To Think About:

When this thought ‘to die or not to do’ loom large on your mind, take your time out. Remember our God is besides you when you endure that pain. Sometimes, He speaks but the Devil makes us difficult to hear.

What did Jesus Christ do when He was in the middle of His suffering? He had bore it all. Someday, our suffering will end. Someday, we will meet Him too.

Remember that Hope and Faith are to be use at its largest extent in our earthly life. Hope for good time to happen in future by putting faith on the Lord.

When you think you are no more valuable or no one values you anymore, remember there’s someone who valued you and gave His life for you. I am also in this suffering, from time to time, so I can tell you this.

Leave the matter to God. Let His will be done, even in our most difficult moment. It is my prayer that our God would sufficiently take care of us, even when it seems He is not working.

Again, let me end herewith the word of God, what Jesus Christ has declared, for you to ponder over:

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus Christ) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:9-10 with my emphasis added)

Let us try to make the most out of our life. That, we might live joyously but not beyond the permitted limit.