I mean, I could; I’m a farmer’s wife.
Our livelihood depends on the weather, so when the drought drags on or the rushing rains flood our fields, we pray and wait.
And wait some more.
All the while turning the soil, feeding the fertilizer into the planted rows, and guarding the grain against pests. We lost crop acreage this year and made the risky decision to plant a second crop behind it.
The first crop flourished and the hunters lined the road to fill their trucks with feed.
The second planting started successfully, green shoots sprouting along the tops of the rows. But it was the start of hurricane season in Florida so we met at the corner of the field every evening to pray over the corn. We prayed God would bless our crop and our lands, that He would use us to impact His kingdom, that the words we used with our friends and customers would bring Him honor and glory.
And the corn grew. Strong and tall and hardy. Little ears stuck out from each stalk, tentatively promising a healthy harvest.
The media warned of coming storms, first a tropical storm, then a dangerous hurricane.
We didn’t worry. We continued praying, for the people in the path of the storm, for the farm, and for the crops.
Panic set in as people realized the hurricane angrily swirling in the Atlantic headed directly toward us promising death and destruction.
We cared about the crop but we cared about the people more. As long as possible, we watched and listened to the news reports of torrential rains, tornadoes spiraling across the state, and record breaking winds demolished homes and businesses.
And we waited. And prayed.
We finally fell asleep that night, arms and legs akimbo, one piled on another in the T-shaped hallways.
In the morning, we woke, amazed to find the house still standing, roof intact. Relief rushed from our head to toes and we stared out the windows at the branches littering the yard. We stood, studying each other and silently thanking the Lord for His perfection. One by one, we voiced our praises to Him.
When the winds subsided and it was safe enough to leave, we drove around the farm.
The fields were unrecognizable.
Where there once were dirt roads separating each field, there was now a solid lake. Fearful, I clutched the truck seat, hoping we wouldn’t drive through it. The swollen farm ditches carried away chunks of the dirt roads.
My husband looked at me and I knew. The corn would not survive.
We tried not to think about it. Most of our state lost far worse than we did.
We spent the next month praying anyway that God would save our small stalks and bring forth a great harvest.
The waters subsided slowly and every day we checked. Then, slowly the dark green stalks pushed past the mud towArd the sky, climbing higher each day. We celebrated and praised God for protecting the corn.
But something was wrong with the corn. The hurricane winds had blown off the pollen and the corn didn’t germinate.
We peeled back the husks to reveal a spattering of kernels, not the long straight rows of milky kernels we hoped for.
A meeting with an agronomist held disappointing, devastating to us, news. The crop was lost. Not worth even chopping it down.
We held our tongue and bit back tears as we posted a notice on Facebook, “Closed for Business until July 2018.”
In the beginning of our busiest season, we had nothing to offer. Nothing to show for all the long days of hard work, the sweat, dirt, and tears rolled into the soil and cultivated around the crop.
I’ve shed my fair share of tears. I don’t understand why or how or anything. I know anger doesn’t solve a thing. There’s no one to blame for the natural disaster that destroyed our crop. We knew it was risky but did it anyway. That’s just how things work sometimes.
But this morning, my husband called me to the field and told me to look. We stared together as the rains cleared and a beautiful rainbow landed in the middle of the now barren field. No pot of gold but a beautiful reminder that God still loves us and He keeps His promises. So we can just trust Him and keep praying. ?
I cried harder.
I don’t know how we’ll make it through until the next planting season but God does. Despite the devastating hurricane that destroyed our crop, He still cares. He’s still sovereign. He still loves me. And I can still trust Him.
That’s all that really matters.
A friend reminded me of Matthew 10:29-31. God is aware of all that happens, even to the sparrows. And we are far more valuable to Him, enough that we don’t need to fear difficult trials. Just because we suffered a lost crop doesn’t remove God’s love for us. His spirit in still in us.
So we continue to pray and wait and trust Him.
And we remember, it could’ve been worse. Far worse.
Are you going through difficult trials? The darkest days are often accompanied by doubt, discouragement, disillusionment, and weariness. It’s easy to sit back and surrender.
But can I offer you some encouragement?
Keep going. Keep doing. Keep taking it one day at a time, one hour at a time if needed.
You’ll get there. I know you can.
Oh, not on your own though. God is ever faithful though and He promises never to leave us. He knows exactly what you’re going through and He’s with you every step of the way. Just call out to Him.
Give all your worries and cares to God because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and then thank Him for all He’s done (Philippians 4:6).
But He’s not a vending machine so don’t expect to get exactly what you “ordered.” Often, I’m so thankful God knows what I need better than I do and sees fit to give me exactly what I need, even if I don’t understand it.
He’s good like that.
And all the time, He is good.