Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Miracle: Spring 2015


It’s not just clickbait.  The farmer really said to me, “a miracle happened today,” as he hopped in the passenger side of my vehicle to grab his supper.  Let me fill you in… my farmer can tend to exaggerate his stories a bit.  However, his demeanor was possibly the most chipper I’ve witnessed all spring…

Spring 2015 blew in with rain, rain, rain… and more rain.  One dry week allowed for planting of corn and milo.  Then, you guessed it: more rain.  Soybean planting began on rare dry days.  We were grateful to get seeds planted, but spraying was another challenge.  One particular bottom field stayed too wet to spray all spring, so weed management became particularly trying. 
 

Persistence paid off (insert sarcasm), and just after cleaning up the weeds, planting, and spraying… the creek opted to expand its borders:
 
Then, in a week, we received five to six more inches of rain, in addition to the waters above in the picture.  The ditch below is one and a half feet wide… and the picture captured the field conditions after five dry days.  The water is off, but as you can tell, it's still much to wet to drive over with equipment.
 
Yet, the hubs remained fairly optimistic.  This week, though, the frustration of ready wheat waiting in wet fields, combined with suddenly needed equipment repairs stealing time against the ticking dry-weather-clock, began to deflate him.  (I don’t know… maybe the 4:00 AM alarms joined with the midnight bedtimes played a role, too…)
However, as he hopped in the seat next to me, he lit up and proclaimed, “A miracle happened…
… (like I said, he exaggerates… so I waited for the catch…)
“I was down to two more rounds when my sprayer showed empty.  [That equals an extra half hour killed at the shop to mix and refill the sprayer tank.  That’s particularly irritating considering he had already spent the better part of the day just trying to get the water pump to fill the sprayer after being sent to the repair shop to “fix it” twice, until finally, he gave up and went to town to buy a new one.]
“I just prayed God would let me finish… and about that time, the weeds cropped up the worst in the field, so I couldn’t just quit.  I kept going and watching my pressure gage dwindling.  I finished, and just as I decided to spray a small extra patch on the outside edge of the field, the pressure dropped to zero.  How else could it work out THAT perfect?”
Annnnd I think he mentioned something about the fantastic field food his farmwife brought him as being partially miraculous, as well.
Was it a miracle?  As a kid, miracles wowed and intrigued me.  As my faith has grown, maybe I experience miracles as those unexpected interactions with God: when He really comes through for me, and I just feeeeel it.  I know my farmer and his faith well enough to know he had a real chat with God, and God came through for him today delivering a burst of encouragement to carry him through the rest of the spring. 
 
Farming is so dangerous, anytime my farmer comes home or answers the phone when I call, I breathe a small breath of relief for the little miracle.  Considering the numerous threats our crops face, largely at the mercy of the weather, I consider any raised crop a miracle.  Many miracles occurred in the Bible, which often drew people closer to God or Jesus.  Maybe filling the sprayer is akin to filling the widow’s oil pot, or maybe it’s not nearly as cool; either way, a little faith, a little prayer answered, a couple of hearts a little closer to God tonight. 
Some of you have had it much easier than us this spring, and some of you much harder. 
Blessings to you all this spring, friends.  May God provide you with the encouragement you need when you need it.