As I walked along the dry, cracked ground my feet sent up little clouds of dust like smoke signals: “S-E-N-D R-A-I-N.” Walking the fence lines in the outdoor pens, checking safety issues and cobbling things back together, I couldn’t help but wonder: What is God doing? He knows we desperately need rain… Or snow… Anything, really. Our entire region was heading into the third year of crippling drought, but day after sun-shiny day, nothing. Unfortunately, today didn’t look any more promising than the last.
It’s a chain of events, really. For those of us in agriculture, rain and snow are not an inconvenience. We do not rejoice in a mild winter with only a handful of rainy or snowy days. We cringe at a forecast of 60 degrees in mid-January. We do not revel in tee-shirts and light jackets when it should be snowing and blowing. Instead, we look ahead to hard times without moisture.
Without precipitation we grow no hay. Without local hay, we must buy from distant farms. Without moisture and local hay, we pay three times the expense with the same meager income. Imagine being told that gas prices for you to get to work will triple but there would be no raise or compensation for that. You cannot ride a bus or train, you have to just suck it up and pay the new, much higher price. It is a dilemma to say the least.
As the panic rose in my throat, as I pushed and grunted and shoved our fence rails back into the cracked posts, as I surveyed our parched acreage, I prayed. “Lord, I beg that you will open up the heavens and pour out a blessing upon us, whether it comes in the form of rain or not!” You see, I know, deep in the darkest recesses of my heart, that God is in control. I know it, even when I don’t see it. Even when it doesn’t look like God is listening, I know He hears me.
At the center of it all, God is working on a more important harvest: The harvest of my heart and soul. God knows our land is dry. He knows it is financially terrifying. His goal is not to worry us. God is teaching us trust. God is building our faith. God is delivering with each sunny day a testimony to His everlasting power that says no matter what the weather report forecasts, no matter how bleak things look around us, He will care for His people. He will send exactly what we need, when we need it – No sooner, no later. He is delivering to me example upon example of His love and His divine provision.
I know God is watching me. I know He is beckoning me to relax into His arms. When I feel that panic rise, He does not ask me to deny those feelings – He asks me to trust Him. When I want to string together hundreds of feet of hose and soak the ground with our precious well water, when I want to cry for all the dry crackling grass underfoot, when I am certain that God is no longer listening to my cries in this desert… It is exactly then that God asks me to kneel before Him and trust. The harvest He is after consists of far more than dirt and seed and rain, it is thrust deep into the fertile loam of my soul. Will I let Him till and plant and cultivate, or will I fret instead on things I cannot change?
I still think we need rain. I look out of my studio this morning to clear skies, as azure and cloud free as a day in June. It may be only 40 degrees outside, but you wouldn’t know it by the view. But rather than worry and fret and allow it to consume me, I will kneel again to pray for His peace. It is a shame not to enjoy the beauty of a cloud free day, after all. God has my back. I trust Him, even when I have to be reminded daily, hourly, minute by excruciating minute.
What are you trusting God with? How do you make it through days you are sure He isn’t listening? Lay back into His heavenly arms and ask Him to quiet your heart. He has a harvest to reap in you, even if it never rains!