Farmers do not live cushy lives. For them, disaster seems to loom at the rising of the sun and lurks long after the sun sets on some days. On a daily basis they deal with death, drought, crop loss and destructive weather. To keep their spirits strong, they’ve developed a logic that carries them through even the worst situations. My daddy brought us up on farmer’s logic and though I now live as a city dweller, I still apply these three simple facts he passed on to whatever life decides to throw at me.
First, bad things happen on a farm.
Sick cows die no matter how well you doctored them. Crops can burn up in a drought or be waterlogged by too much rain. Prices for milk, beef and produce can rise and fall without much warning. When these events hit our farm, Daddy would take a breath and say, “These things happen. It’s just life.” Often in our own journeys, we may be hit with catastrophes like job loss, natural disasters, cancer, or errant children. The list is endless. When they come, we are knocked to our knees and want to know why such calamity hit us. The answer is, bad things happen. All farmers recognize this truth and accept it as a part of the nature of their chosen work. And they keep going. Why? Because next season is a new chance to try again. That next cow may produce a valuable calf. That next crop may render a record harvest during a price boom. In a farmer’s logic, these bad things happen. But there is always the hope of next time, something better will happen. We can cling to that same hope in the midst of our bad times.
Second, you can’t dwell on the bad times when living and working on a farm.
There is simply too much to do. Your crop failed? That’s sad, but there are other fields to be plowed and sowed. Your cow died? Tragic, but other members of your herd need to be fed, milked and tended to. Farmers posses a never ending list of chores. Spending time lamenting the bad takes away from other things that must be accomplished. Farmers are masters of swallowing their sorrows and moving forward. They work out their sorrows in the soil, herding livestock or planning for next year. We can take a cue from them when life has steamrolled over us by working out our sorrows. We can volunteer in a church ministry, a hospital, an assisted living facility. Farmers know a great life-truth; keeping busy keeps our mind off of our troubles. We can be sad. We can be wondering if tomorrow is the day it all comes down around our ears. But, we can still be productive until the better times come. For farmers, life goes on. Its the same for us as well.
Lastly, at some point you gotta let go and let the good Lord work out the details.
Most farmers would agree. There comes a point when a person has done all they can for a situation and nothing has changed. Human intervention ceases and Godly intervention begins. When we fully entrust God with our tough situations, we can enjoy peace. He may not work things out as we’d hoped, but eventually, he does work things out and the bad situation ends.
I have great respect for farmers. They embody a tough spirit that I believe understands nature and God in a way many will never experience. They live with life and death everyday. Farmers nurture soil, animals and their families. They’ve chosen a hard life and yet embrace the challenges. They do far more than feed us. They can teach us how to dig deep and find our keep-on spirit.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. James 5:7 NKJ
When times get tough, remember farmer’s logic and keep striving to thrive!