Farming Is Not For The Faint-Hearted

Written by: Dr John McCutcheon

It was a sad sight. Six piglets were pumping away at their mother’s abdomen trying to get milk as she lay dead and beginning to swell up. We don’t know what she died of, but that left just two breeding sows with the boar, free range in the field. They say if you have livestock you will sooner or later have dead-stock!

Anyone farming faces a range of problems from droughts, floods or hail, to crop and animal diseases. How hard it must be for the ostrich farmers who have been forced to cull all their stock due to bird flu. How devastating for the farmers north of the Soutpansberg who have seen domestic and wild stock dying in the drought.

Farming catastrophes are as old as mankind. The prophet Habakkuk who writes as one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament, must have done some farming. Listen to his lament from Habakkuk 3:17,18: “Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls….” What a picture of total disaster on the farm – how crushed would any farmer feel in those circumstances, but not Habakkuk! He goes on: “yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.”

Habakkuk saw the spiritual reality which would outlast any material or physical crisis. His joy was in his Saviour; in God whose blessing is eternal. He had a joy which came from within. That is the joy Jesus promised his disciples even while he was warning them of the crisis of his arrest which would come within hours and the on-going persecution they would face after his death and resurrection. “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no-one will take away your joy.” (John 16:22) Whatever we are going through, when we remember the reality of Jesus’ presence, we will share in that spiritual joy that Habakkuk knew so long ago.

From Farm Fables and Foibles by Dr John, on Kindle

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