Ed, my neighbor next door, has some seeding done, but the weather won’t co-operate so he can finish planting. He feels that he is an innocent victim of unpredictable Mother Nature. I said to Ed that we all face the force of things conspiring against us. For instance, yesterday, I had to stop for construction on the way to work and when I got through the delay with highway patching, I had to wait for a train to pass before I could get to work at last. Circumstances may be anything but co-operative with our time schedule and at work the time-clock won’t hear excuses.
I told Ed that life is lived between a rock and a hard spot. As a farmer, he has to get his crops in if he wants to harvest them and sell them. But how can he plant his crops if it is raining? There is an old saying, “The smartest person is not the one who is quickest to see through a thing, but the one who is quickest to see a thing through.” Seeing a thing through is sometimes right up there with impossible. Some facing treatments for cancer and other diseases may feel they cannot face another treatment. How do you see a situation through when it seems to be hopeless? There is always a great need for hope for the hopeless.
Ed confided that an individual from Alberta is interested in buying his land – all of it, at a good price. Ed is tempted to sell and see the end of the challenges of farming. Ruby has told him that he will be bored and lost without his farm. Her verdict is that Ed will drive himself and her crazy within a month. I told Ed he could come and work at the store, but Ed just shuddered. He hates shopping and the few times Ed has been in the store, he looks like a frightened deer caught in the headlights. It seems to me that if Ed quits farming, he will be like a fish out of water; but that is just my opinion, which means nothing.
Ed likes to curl and bowl and golf. He says he could become a more serious fisherman. My only comment was that all these activities seem best when you are juggling them around work. They are not as much fun when you have lots of time for them.
In spite of unfavorable and unpredictable circumstances, Ed is a veteran of seeing through the challenges of farming. Indirectly, God is often teaching us the truth of his word. The Bible says, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” The circumstances of life that makes us late for seeding or work, the circumstances that place us in physical suffering and keep us groaning, lead us to hope for what we do not yet have.
As Christians, we hope in the truth that “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose… Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”