For the past several weeks I’ve been sharing tidbits about in small town America. I now know what a herd of cattle is and I’ve learned that the beef I’ve been eating all my life comes from a live cow (not directly from the plastic wrap at the stores). I’m learning a lot about farming, too, since Camp County is primarily agrarian with peaches being its main crop. I’m only scratching the surface about farmers, but it’s evident farmers have to have faith.
Farmers raise crops and deal with a lot of variables – sun, rain, temperature, exposure to elements, insects — you name it and there’s a threat at every corner. The success or failure of a crop means having a roof over your head and food for your family.
Sun up to sun down, farmers toil the earth, prune the trees, prepare the fields, spray for insects, never knowing if rains will come and wash the seeds away, whether a drought will dry up the earth, or whether a frost will kill wipe out the crop in a few minutes. Farmers get up early and work late trusting and obeying that their preparation before the crops spring from the ground will, once again, work its miracle.
Farmers have unwavering commitment to the harvest. It’s not a typical job where you give your two week notice and walk away. When you farm, you’re connected to a specific land, and invested in expensive equipment, a community, and oftentimes to previous generations of your family who have farmed before you. There are deep-roots and tradition.
There are a lot of parallels between the farmers and Scripture. Read your Bible and you’ll find umpteen gazillion references to farming and land. As I see it, the farmer looks at every failed crop as a reminder that the harvest inevitably belongs to the Lord. The farmer must be faithful to lay the groundwork for the harvest, but the harvest cannot be forced; it can only happen through the Lord’s providence.
The farmers I’ve met by and large seem to have long-term faithfulness. They find joy in trusting in God’s providence and experiencing His constant goodness. They keep the deep-root, big picture in mind, and have a quiet reverence to their work and to God.
I’m not sure I will ever be a farmer, but it’s a good goal to shoot for.
James 5:7 “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.”