There are several times in the Bible where people are compared to a harvest. In Romans 1:13, Paul says, “I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.” Paul longed to visit the Romans because he wanted to be a part of the harvest that was happening there.
Webster’s dictionary defines the word harvest as, “a mature crop (as of grain or fruit).” Paul wanted to see the spiritual fruit of the people there. He had planted seeds and it was time to see the fruit of his labor. He wanted to reap the harvest. Have you ever planted something and wanted to see it grow into a beautiful crop? Investing in the lives of others is very similar. Have you ever invested in someone’s life and wanted to see how everything turned out? This is what Paul was experiencing. The only difference was that in our world today, it is much easier to walk through life with the people we disciple. Paul only had his letters to rely on. Yet we still do not invest in the spiritual lives of others or we leave them to fend for themselves after salvation. It would be like saving someone from drowning without ever drawing them into the boat. We leave them to try and swim the rest of the way on their own. It is not enough to just throw them a life preserver; we must either pull them into the boat or swim the rest of the way with them! The point is, do not leave them in the middle of the raging sea!
To invest in the lives of others, you must first pour into your own spiritual life. If you begin to really spend time in prayer and God’s word, He will present you with opportunities and help you invest in the lives of those around you!