“Next year” cries out from thirsty lands of drought
Farmers sow their spring crops on faith alone
Waiting for nature to moisten the ground
Praying to the Lord, asking for His rain
Rain arrives, new life rising skyward bound
God sends righteousness, in the form of rain
Fulfilling prayers, easing farmers’ pain
From Isaiah 45:8: “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it.”
Bill runs into his neighbor Fred at the local feed store. In conversation, Bill tells Fred, “I noticed that there back tire on yer truck is a mite bit low on tread.”
Fred replies back, “Ah, dat there tire has quite a few miles left da go.”
The men depart and finish up their business in town before heading back home. As Bill drives down the road, he comes upon Fred’s truck, rolled over on its side, off of the road.
Bills stops and surveys the situation. Fred appears okay, much of his cattle feed is scattered on the ground, and the suspected tire has blown nearly clean off of the rim.
Bill calmly asks Fred what has happened. With eyes growing bigger by the second, Fred excitedly tells him, “A vig jack rabbit nearly ran me self off this here road. Look vat he did to ma perfectly good tire.”
Throughout much of my teaching career in Montana, I personally witnessed the labors and hard work of farmers and ranchers on the eastern plains. Their faithful perseverance will always be a testament of their faith in a God who will see us through.
The labors of a family wait for another harvest. Fields of spring wheat are maturing rapidly under the blistering hot, August sun. The heads of grain are filling out and turning harvest gold.
A year’s worth of income rests in these fields. Three generations view God’s bounty with praise and thanksgiving.
An aging grandfather has witnessed the good times and bad. While he has slowed down a bit, he still looks forward to operating the combine at harvest time. He becomes as excited as a young boy while watching the header cut the ripened grain.
His son, now a mature and tested father, has followed in his footsteps. He returned to the farm ten years ago when his father suffered a heart attack. He manages the day-to-day operations as skillfully as his father ever did.
A teenage boy, both grandson and son, has observed his father’s long hours and hard work. He values his grandfather’s wisdom and experience. He plans to attend the state’s land grant university during the upcoming fall semester, but first he needs to help out with harvest.
One evening, with harvest set to begin soon, these three generations of men view a field closest to their homes. The grain is heavy, filled with high protein content, and will fetch an honest price at market.
Dark clouds loom to the northwest as a storm appears heading away from their farm. The three men turn in for the night, feeling confident and safe.
The next morning, the sun comes up right on schedule, but this season’s harvest has been cruelly cancelled.
Overnight the storm changed its route. Heavy rain, strong winds, and large hail shredded every bit of grain far and wide. Not even a cow would be able to find any nourishment.
The grandson has never seen such devastation, and he is emotionally numb and filled with shock.
His father knows the coming year will be filled with hardship and uncertainty. With God’s guidance, somehow he will carefully balance the books.
The grandfather prays to God, asking the Lord to provide for the family as He always has—in the best of times, and now the darkest. He opens his Bible and reads the following verse from Isaiah 40:10:
“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”