How exhilarating it is for me to drive past the fields of maturing winter wheat! For as far as the eye can see, the thin, blue-green stalks of wheat fill the fields. The heads of the wheat have formed and together they sway in the breeze, making patterns as they move in unity. Looking at the landscape, you can see a purple haze at the tops of the stalks. Gorgeous!
Winter wheat is planted in the fall and is harvested from mid-May to mid-July. The color of the stalks will change from blue-green to yellow to brown. When the heads tip toward the earth the farmer will test the grain. A firm, crunchy grain indicates that it is time for harvest.
As I drove past a field of wheat this morning I sensed God telling me that He wants the Body of Christ to be like that wheat--growing, moving in unity and displaying His glory. I have learned some interesting facts about wheat that have helped me make this analogy.
There are different kinds of wheat. The kind that is planted depends upon what it will be used for. Hard wheat has the highest gluten content and is used for making bread. Soft wheat has a lower gluten content and is used to make pastries and crackers. Durum wheat is used to make pasta. Like wheat, we in the Body of Christ have been given different gifts according to the destiny God has for us. "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All of these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines." (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
Apparently, the return from planting a kernel of wheat is huge! The February/March issue of "Mother Earth News" tells of a gardener in Vermont who planted 30 pounds of winter wheat and harvested 250 pounds. That is quite a return on the investment! That is also what God wants from us. He has invested in us and makes available to us the resources of heaven. We are to put our talents and resources to work for the Lord just like the men written about in Matthew 25:14-30. In Jesus' parable the master entrusted talents to his servants and was well pleased with those who were able to multiply those talents for him.
Wheat is a staple for feeding the people of the nations. In the May 5, 2016 issue of "About Money," Andrew Hecht tells us that the Arab Spring started in 2010 as a direct result of bread riots in Tunisia and Egypt. He says, "Hungry people that depend on bread can cause dramatic change in society and governments, and that is why wheat plays such an important role in the world."
The people of this world need spiritual food. I believe their lack of connection with the One True God is the cause of the turmoil in our world today. Thankfully, many of the refugees from the Middle East and people groups from other nations around the world are being introduced to Jesus through the love and generosity of members of the Body of Christ.
Like the wheat in the field, we have been planted and cared for by the Master Farmer. He has filled us up with everything we need for "life and godliness." (2 Peter 1:3) We are being sent out to feed a hungry world with the Bread of Life--the Good News of Jesus Christ. As we operate in love and unity we will make beautiful patterns on the world’s landscape and the glory of the Lord will rise above us. (Isaiah 60:1)
Joan E. Mathias