FARMERS. There's no one like these people. I have uncles who have farmed, but I was never around them throughout a season. So I just had no idea....
Farmers have more faith than anyone I know. Every year they take seed and plant it in soil which they have turned and prepared for those seeds. They don't know for sure what will happen. They're trusting that seed to germinate and sprout and grow and bloom into a crop worth harvesting and selling.
But they also know it may be a season of drought where the wind dries up the soil and whips it across the highways--and takes the topsoil and their seed into the next county! Our farmers have faced many years of drought, fear, and hopelessness. But they keep on doing the same thing the next year in faith...believing God for better results.
Or they may face a year of torrential rains which washes their seed away or floods their fields which makes planting hard, late, and foreboding. We've had rains which have turned farmer's fields into playas. You can't plant in a playa. Those rain clouds can also bring hail which can completely destroy an entire crop in an instant.
Probably the hardest things farmers face isn't what nature brings, but what man brings. I don't understand things like market values and commodity markets. But just in my two years in a farming community, it seems like every time the crops come in, the market plunges. And the farmers are left having to accept prices calculated by the powers-that-be. What you may not know, farmers are barely making it. Many will have a hard time paying back banks. And you probably know someone who has had to sell their farm. It's heartbreaking!
But if they can, these farmers keep doing what they've always done. They're risk-takers! But more than that, they're men and women of faith. And they are committed to feeding their fellow countrymen. They believe in what they're doing! You won't just see men on those tractors, combines, trucks, and balers. Their wives pitch in when they have to (some even love it!) and many times you'll see photos of them with their small children "helping drive" or asleep in the cab. These families are devoted to your family. They work long, hard hours to provide food for us all. They miss meals so we won't have to. They purchase equipment with prices which would boggle your mind.
This is my thank-you to the farmers I know: Troy, Barry, Clay, Dean, Buck, Wade, Jesse, Richard, Darrell, Andy, Jason, the Brittens, Bells, Childresses, Gaines, Dysons...and some I know I've forgotten. And to their wives who help--either in the fields, at home, cooking for crews, doing books, or just by not giving in to fear: Kim, Carole, Nicole, Adrianna, Jill, Skye, Karri, Sue, Kari, & Mina...and some I know I've forgotten. I love your hearts and how big they are. I love your work ethic. I love your concern and love for your fellow man. I appreciate the L-O-N-G hours you put in. I see your sacrifice, your hard labor, and the tiredness in your faces at times. I know what you're doing for the rest of us. And I love you for it! I see so many spiritual applications in what you do. You have the heart of God. But most importantly, thank you for giving the rest of us a good example of faith.
I love farmers.