This is a Season
We read in the Bible, “to everything there is a season.” We have experienced this in our personal lives through relationship or life changes. We recognize what to look for when the physical seasons shift and prepare accordingly, but no one could prepare for a season quite like this. With every week that has passed, it has made the soggy reality more surreal.
All of our farm community and family are tired, weary, and discouraged. Through generations of farming, this just hasn’t happened. In the beginning of the spring, we would say, “this is similar to 74…”, but now we don’t even have anything to compare it to. Ol’ Bob hasn’t seen anything quite like this in his entire 56 years of farming. There has never been a year where someone has had to take off his boots before the work is completely done.
A season like this doesn’t just alter how the farm can do business, it changes every relationship it comes in contact with. This means that the seed dealer doesn’t get his paycheck, the chemical rep won’t be able to utilize the income he had prepared for, and the seed producers have to completely reevaluate their stock. This affects the fuel, livestock, and other industries. For some farms, this was the comeback year, and now income has to come elsewhere.
I don’t mean to reiterate what so many have expressed already, I am even getting tired of talking about the rain, but it doesn’t change the reality of it. This season has been trying on our patience, endurance, and faith. We have been consumed in the possible affects that this will bring to the farm, not only economically, but mentally and emotionally. We never thought we would experience a year where we prepare to quit before it is done. We didn’t dream of talking about planting while staring at the calendar on June 19th. We didn’t prepare for it; but this is a season.
In Ecclesiastes, the Bible tells us there is a time for everything under the sun, and this is one of those times. A season where our plan for the future can’t reflect what we’ve done in the past because we’ve never been here before. A time where our hope is not dependent on our circumstance. A season that tests where our trust lies when the rubber meets the road. One that requires faith in God alone.
I am choosing to not only endure this season, but embrace it. There has never been a time such as this, but there has never been a time where so many have struggled together. This has effected every person in the agricultural industry. When you lose sleep at night crunching numbers wondering if it’ll work, you can trust you’re not alone. If you walk into a field anxious that your crop is the only one that will be under performing this year, you’re among good company.
I’d like to think this year has reminded us in this industry that we are a lot more alike than we are different. We can be quick to judge each others practices and operations but this is something none of us know how to handle. This too shall pass, but before it does, may we learn and remember that the only thing that doesn’t change with the seasons is the hope we have in Christ.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8