Farmers, men and women alike, are some of the most hardworking people I know.
They not only work during daylight hours but often through night ones, too, working around the clock when the seasons and tasks require it.
Some work alone, some in pairs, some in large teams.
But they all do it for the passion of growing and nurturing what their particular talent and enterprise is and seeing the manifestation of all their hard work.
They produce food and/or materials for the world, no matter what they grow, tend, or produce.
They work their fingers to the bone. Their skin burns and hardens under the harsh sky.
They spend countless sleepless hours and go without many meals either working or worrying about what still needs to be done.
I once heard a farmer say, “A farmer could work 24 hours a day and you’d still never get through it all or run out of jobs to do.”
I live with one.
I see the hours he puts in.
I feel the cold place next to mine while I’m snuggled safe and warm in comfort under our covers, and he’s out there—he hasn’t yet come in, or he’s already left.
Or I feel the blast of heat from a scorcher of a day as I venture out to assist him. While I’ve been home in the comfort of the AC doing home tasks, with a fridge and pantry at my fingertips, he’s been out there in it all day.
Or the cold feet as he crawls back into bed after checking in several times through the night on expectant mothers during the cruelest of winters.
I see the constant monitoring of the weather and trying to plan around it, not only seasonally, sometimes even hourly.
The common saying around our dinner table has become, “It’s all about the weather,” with children’s rolled eyeballs and sighs as Dad yet again tells a story about how that day’s (or the forecasted) weather affected this or that.
We live our lives around the seasons, the sundial, animal needs, and routines and rhythms. Though it feels like we have absolutely no control and sometimes do everything we possibly can to get it all right and perfect and done in the nick of time, it’s still a risk.
A judgement call.
And a whole lot of faith.
Faith in the guidance from the one who created the earth and all that’s in it, that governs the seasons, the natural order of things, and is ultimately in control.
“Listen to me, listen as I plead: Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever harrowing the soil and never planting it? Does he not finally plant his many kinds of grain, each in its own section of his land? He knows just what to do, for God has made him see and understand. He doesn’t thresh all grains the same. A sledge is never used on dill, but it is beaten with a stick. A threshing wheel is never rolled on cummin, but it is beaten softly with a flail. Bread grain is easily crushed, so he doesn’t keep on pounding it. The Lord Almighty is a wonderful teacher and gives the farmer wisdom.” (Isaiah 28:23-29)
“. . . The farmer waits [expectantly] for the precious harvest from the land, being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains.” (James 5:7)
I’ve always loved farmers.
I especially love mine.
I love their resilient character, their hardworking and tough nature to battle on throughout such a hard and brutal existence at times.
Seeing the joy they feel when the harvest comes in and they see the fruit of their labor makes the whole year’s worth of blood, sweat, and tears worthwhile.
And I especially love trusting and knowing that God rewards us for all our toil and blesses our commitment and passion to work the land which He created, provided, and blesses, by the work of His hands.
“For you shall eat the fruit of [the labor of] your hands, You will be happy and blessed and it will be well with you” (Psalm 128:2).
Originally published on the author’s Facebook page