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John and Caroline Spangler walking in field at sunset
TRUST: James 5:7 is pretty specific in 2019: “See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You, too, be patient and stand firm.”

Trust like a farmer

What’s it mean to trust in a year when very little is going your way?

Two weeks ago, I knelt down in a nearly planted soybean field and took this photo.

The beans were going in nicely that night, in a bottom ground field that was fully saturated until the second week in June. As I write this, at the end of June, that field is saturated again, thanks to (yet) another 5 inches of rain and a rising river.

Years ago, I stopped being surprised when I’d walk into church and hear a sermon that must surely have been preached for my heart. Like when, after all those days of rain this past Sunday, our pastor stood in our little white country church and gave three examples of patience from the book of James: farmers waiting for growth, prophets waiting for repentance, Job waiting for redemption.

So James is holding us up as the picture of trust, but I’m here to tell you, we sure don’t feel real patient this year.

Cool, rainy days. Rising rivers. Fields that won’t be planted to the north and to the south, and heartbroken farmers. 

But this, straight from James 5:7: “See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.” That’s pretty specific in 2019.

He follows it up: “You, too, be patient and stand firm.”

That’s pretty specific, too. Trust — like a farmer.

Here’s the deal: We don’t know much at this point, like whether the sun will shine, or how this season will end. But as people who gamble an annual livelihood on the weather, our only real choice is to trust.

Trust we serve a God who will work this out, whether the sun shines or not. Trust we’re not a failure for the fields we couldn’t plant.

Trust that He’s put us in a specific place with specific circumstances for a reason. Honor Him with what we can control. Trust Him with what we can’t control.

Friends, these are the seasons that make us, even when they nearly break us. Especially when they nearly break us.

Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Trust — like a farmer.

Comments? Email holly.spangler@farmprogress.com.

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