The Window of Opportunity

by Joanna Deffner on October 09, 2019

Earlier this year, the Midwest experienced a season of excessive rain. Normally, the general population moans and groans about the overcast and darkened skies. But, this year, the sounds of despondency were harmonized by an unusual group of water-resisters: farmers. Our cultivators weren’t just grumbling at the lack of sun due to personal preference. They were genuinely concerned about the large quantities of precipitation because saturated fields meant the season’s crop couldn’t be planted.

As the storm clouds rolled in day after day, farmers convened meetings to strategize a solution regarding the mud puddle growing across the country. The media covered the conversations and concerns, drawing much attention to a concept known as a “window of opportunity.” This “window” is defined as the segment of time in which a crop can be planted for the year. Crops can’t be planted outside the window because there isn’t enough time for growth, cultivation, and harvest. The risk for the season was very grave. An unplanted crop meant an un-reapable harvest come fall. Farmers would then need to claim a total loss on their fields for the season.

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time (Colossians 4:5, KJV).

While driving on any highway or interstate in the Midwest, it’s hard not to notice the fields. When the corn isn’t “knee-high” by July, you notice. When the soybean harvest hasn’t been reaped, you notice. We easily perceive the stuff that comes after planning, but we’re less inclined to detect the pivotal moment beforehand: the window of opportunity.

This same window of opportunity exists in the spiritual realm in a harvest called souls. There’s a specific time—a window of opportunity—provided to us to witness to this lost and dying world. While there’s a general window of time until the Lord makes His return (II Peter 3:9), there’s a unique, sometimes shorter window, for every person.

In the personalized window of opportunity God has created for an individual to hear and receive His Word, the same window is granted for us to plant (share) the Word as a witness. If we miss the crucial window, the heart (or soil) of the individual won’t be just right. Without the perfect window, the Word can’t be planted.

Just as farmers know they must plant within the perfect window to allow for full cultivation of their crop, we must realize the same principle holds true for a soul. We need to allow the maximum time possible for a soul to hear God’s Word, let it take root, be watered, and weathered for growth. When we wait too long or miss our window, the ground can become too water-saturated, or better yet, become too thorny or too rocky (Matthew 13:1–9). Sound familiar?

If we don’t plant in the perfect window, the risk for the harvest is also serious. An unplanted crop of God’s Word means there won’t be a harvest to reap. But, when there isn’t a harvest of souls, we won’t be able to blame the weather. God will hold us responsible for whether we choose to plant when the conditions were right or when the window was open.

Lord, help us to take action when the window of opportunity is present for a soul. We know there’s a short time before your return; we must be working in the fields before it’s too late and we can no longer plant. Thank you for allowing us to work in Your field: the privilege to plant, the season of growth, and the time of harvest.