If I close my eyes, I can almost smell it – musty, earthy, with a bit of sweat and dust. I can almost hear the hum of the combine, and hear the wheat being cut and harvested into the hopper. Other than spring, when life was reborn everywhere, harvest was one of my favourite seasons on the farm. It was like you finally got to reap from the months of sowing, spraying, checking on things, and praying for just the right amount of rain.
My Dad has farmed just over 50 crops, dutifully and painstakingly at times, watching and praying as the seasons changed. But what’s the one thing you could always count on? There would be a harvest. Summer heat would eventually cool to the right temperature, allowing you to bring in the crop you’d waited months for.
God has a special affection for farmers, I think. What other job is there that so many elements are out of your control, determining your outcome?
I was reading in Isaiah this morning, using this study guide. It’s thick, long and daunting, but helps me ask questions of the text when I read it, rather than just reading. After prophecies of judgement on the people for how they had disobeyed God and followed their own way, God speaks in Isaiah 28: 23-29 about how the farmer tends to his crops. For dill and cumin and wheat – how there are specifics the farmer knows and is led by God on how to harvest, “For he is rightly instructed, his God teaches him.”
God basically says that you don’t harvest forever. You don’t “thresh it forever” (vs28). But in verse 29 we read the best part, “This also comes from the Lord of hosts, he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.”
As I stare out our livingroom window, fat white bunnies hide in the bushes in our backyard, foraging for bits of food. Daylight is starting to take form, and my heart longs for spring. How many more weeks? I am not a fan of winter. But winter forces rest, both on man and the land. And if we had a winter season of only two months, our Alberta land would not have the rest and hibernation it needs to produce the following year.
The seasons are the length they are for a reason, for what is needed to produce in the next.
And I am reminded… God is wonderful in counsel, excellent in wisdom. All seasons change, eventually. Always. And the tilling, and threshing, the sowing and the reaping – are all in his hands. My job? Is to be instructed of the Lord, and rest.
Whatever your season is today, trust that God has you in His hands, and will rightly instruct you.