“Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’” — Matthew 9:36-38 (NASB)
Distressed and Dispirited
There are people all around us who are distressed and dispirited. Many will not show outward signs of their frustrations and emotional struggles, but they are there. Some, on the other hand, are quite vocal and their behavior is a sign of something that is just not right.
Life in our current generation is a bewilderment with as much uncertainty as in any time in history. It seems at times as though we are all like sheep without a shepherd. But those of us who know the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior need to be reminded that we do have a Shepherd to lead us, and it is also our responsibility to lead those in need of a shepherd to Him.
Jesus felt compassion and had great concern for the people of His day. He took note of them as lost sheep, with no hope and not knowing where they were going. Life without knowing Christ in His day, and especially in our day, is a life of emptiness, hopelessness and wandering — leading one to be distressed and dispirited.
There is a harvest of people today ready to be gathered into the body of Christ through the Gospel message. Jesus encouraged His disciples to earnestly ask God to send workers into His harvest, for the harvest is plentiful and there were few workers. This speaks to us today. The harvest is indeed plentiful and there are still few workers. There are those who refuse to put their hand to the plow for the Kingdom of God.
Every Christian has the same opportunity to work in the Lord’s harvest, because the Lord’s harvest is wherever there are people who are distressed and dispirited among us. Where has God called you to live? That is His harvest! Where has God called you to work? That is His harvest! Where has God led you to attend college? That is His harvest! Who has God brought into your life through friendships, social events and extended families? These are also His harvest!
May we be obedient in serving in the Lord’s harvest, for someone has prayed for us to be there.
— Loring Schultz
If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to