Give me a gravel road with deep ditches on either side surrounded by golden grain fields, long, dusty driveways, sugar beets that have fallen from the big trucks on the highway, and I’m in my Happy Place.
There’s something about farming and small towns and pick-ups and cafes and farmer tans and John Deere tractors that lower my blood pressure just thinking about them.
Life in small town USA wasn’t, and isn’t, easy. Good grief, no. But the pace is different than what I feel in the city. Life seems simpler. Less striving. More waiting.
The other day I heard someone use the expression, “Wait like a farmer.”
Boy. Did that make sense.
Farmers in the Red River Valley sure know what that means, right?
I vividly remember watching dad standing out in our backyard, looking west. Wondering if the big black storm clouds coming our way would shift in direction, or if we were in for trouble. Like big trouble. And there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.
And yet, in those moments, I never saw him wring his hands. Or pace. Or panic.
He just stood and watched.
And waited. Like a farmer.
When a farmer needs to plant the crop or bring it in, there are so many influences he can’t control. The rain. Wind. Flooding. Draught. Storms. The farmer knows that you can start planning what to do if A happens, or if B happens, etc., but the farmer can’t wave his arm and turn the clouds another direction or stop the rain. Trying to fix something doesn’t work, because you can’t fix what you can’t control.
For the most part, the farmer needs to … wait.
Wait like a farmer.
I want the heart of that farmer.
The heart that stays calm when those black clouds swirl.
I can’t do that on my own though. It’s not my natural tendency.
So, I rely on the same thing my dad relied on …
God’s faithfulness. God’s peace.
I let Him restore my soul.
Even when those ugly clouds burst and everything seems horrible.
David wrote the 23rd chapter in the book of Psalms that is a peaceful refuge when I’m looking west, and the sky seems too dark…
“God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
You find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word, you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through Death Valley,
I’m not afraid when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.”
(Psalm 23, MSG)
I’m learning how to wait.
Like a farmer.