So in my Devotional this morning. "God's Words of Life on Joy for Mothers" published by Zondervfan, I read several thoughts but this one captures me:
"Rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. — Joel 2:23"
God will provide for us! Hallelujah! Though it seems to me that there is a beginning of the awful time when our real life farm is thirsty. There are little bits of dust storms about as the breeze blows. I walk around a bit and return home with a dirty, dusty face.
I must remember that God IS Faithful.... I don't often "go to preaching" on our farm page blog..... But I just must this morning.
I ponder/wonder, how much of the world was agrarian when Jesus walked the earth? Certainly the vast majority and then the tradesman, craftsman, land owners, royalty.... But, the stories in the Bible still speak.
Maybe since our society is so far removed from food production/supply, we perhaps do not understand first hand basis the Biblical references to food as fully as if we had our hands in the soil as a steward of His Land. Most farmers I know understand the impact and dependence on God for our every need - from the basics of food and water to far far beyond that.Though we plan and pray and do all we can, put in wells, have supplies, we are helpless in certain storms. We cannot stop the rain, fierce winds, hales, fires.
The miracle of the Word of God is that it can speak to all populations, generations later, no matter what it does for a living, its hobbies, customs, politics.
There appeared to be few ways to preserve food from season to season back in the day....unless honey was used as a preservative. Spices would have been a rarity except for the very wealthy. No freezers, no freeze dried, no vacuum sealers or canning and No Tupperware..... Honey was a preservative. Only the wealthy seemed able to store up grains and foods for years. And those folks were warned in general fashion about storing up things that could rot or rust, etc.
What did those references to milk and honey flowing mean for a society ;arge;u dependent and food frail from day to day. It truly would be almost an unbelievable experience, it would represent a miraculous blessing. The everyday person did not have the luxury of having food stored for the future. Even if they had resources either to barter and buy, markets were not on every corner. They depended heavily on the day to day gathering of food - the catching of fish, the grains picked, the olives and figs etc. They knew it had to be there or they would thirst and starve to death. In a way they were so blessed in a strange way. Because only the rich could call anything theirs. The impoverished, the financially downtrodden were ready and prepared to accept the Miracles of God's love. They knew that they had to have God's beneficial rains, waters, soils, etc. Manna from Heaven, they would grasp!
The agrarian society understood that if the crops were not there, they would not eat. And that even in Biblical times they would be specialty taxed on everything living - on all the animals for example. Taxes before eating.....
The crops were not theirs alone, they were in large part seized by authoritarians known as rulers and tax collectors. Part of the tax structure was to take the very crops from the farmer. So the farmer felt the pressure of feeding his family because the Earthly Kings and their large and indulgent households had to be fed first.
With fast food on most every corner with quick meals, pizza and general stors with frozen foods, our society doesn't really get a sense of priorities. We too often live as if there was not a farm anywhere. We are warned over and over not to be hoarders but per capita the US has more storage units than any other. We are "stuffing" way too much.
We are warned that things will rot and rust but it doesn't seem like it is being heard in our society, as rental storage units are at a high time occupancy rate. How can we store items we are not using for years?
If only we could release ourselves from those possessions and give these items away and benefit others with "our stuff". As I get older and a little wiser (sometimes), I realize I do not have to have all the mementoes of my youth. It was a major step to get rid of the yearbooks, still got more to go. It helps to move more frequently as stuff has a way of accruing on a farm that we might need someday.
A good junk farm scavenger with a bookshelf headboard has free chicken boxes, if they ever get made.. The past year, I've been trying to clean the barn and find myself putting items back for future needs. Oops.
Certainly this verse rings true for the non farmer as well. For the person whose house was hit by a fire, for those who see a forest out of control burning and coming toward them. For those who are facing heat exhaustion in the heavy weight in the heat beating upon their body. As we all watch with concern hundreds of acres destroyed by fire, flood, etc.
The answer is always the Same: God will provide. His Way, His Time, and it will happen whether we recognize it or not. It's better when we do, because then we become even more deeply aware of God beyond the Bible or the teachings. When we can embrace the Blessings to our very core - to our soul, then we learn and grow in His Grace as we acknowledge that all Good comes from Him, the fount of all knowledge.
But whether or not we acknowledge Him, He blesses us just the same. We never "earn" His blessings. He loves us all the same.
And that is so like the Godly Mother's Love. She has no favorites among her children. She finds time for each of them and Love rows not divides in her household. Her sacrifices of sleep, energy and even that last piece of pie are all about Pure Love.
Fact: Granny greatly exaggerated her love of fried Chicken necks. Now I know it was least favored of all pieces of the chicken. But to her it was a happy freewill sacrifice, so she could send those wonderfully fried meaty pieces on to her family while still participate in the meal. If you've ever eaten a chicken neck, and I have, it takes a really long time to eat it Granny knew that!
To all you chicken neck eaters, I respect and admire you and Hope you have the most beautiful Mother's Day ever.