I once heard someone say that “FAITH without RISK is EASY.” It is a phrase that really resonated with me. For every choice there is a consequence.
A similar phrase could be said about farming, with a slightly different twist: Being able to farm without risk would be…too easy! Yep, you heard it. Farming itself is a risk, but then having the faith and tenacity to make farming your business and the very thing that supports your family is, well, just plain risky.
Just to give you a little insight into the risks of farming for your income (keep in mind, this is just a VERY BASIC explanation of some of what farmers do just to give you a peek into the risks they take regularly).
- Plant seeds in the soil, not knowing if they will all grow out of the ground and produce grain…and trying to schedule planting in an efficient way that matches up with expected weather (we all know how accurate weather forecasts are).
- Pay super high prices for seed, hoping that each seed will produce grain that will be quality.
- Nurture their plants throughout ALL weather situations…too wet, too dry, too windy, too hot, too cold, (you get the idea) and STILL come out with a crop that will sustain their family and business.
- Harvest their crop…only being able to take it out of the field when the weather is right, the grain is dry enough but not too dry, and the plants are mature enough but not too mature that they are losing their seeds. And then of course you have to factor in the cost of fuel, maintenance, employees and lack of sleep…Ufta!
- Pay high land taxes to keep their community and state functioning with dollars, and still having enough to keep their family and business afloat…no matter what the prices are.
- Did I mention prices? Yes, they have to choose when to sell their grain…and people playing the market have a LARGE effect on whether farmers get a price for their grain that they can pay their bills with or a price that falls desperately short of covering the year’s bills. And that price is affected by SO MANY factors, there is no way of knowing when or if you will get that price.
I think those are enough factors to help you get the idea. Farming is a risky business. And in my family, that business is a calling to my father, mother and each of my brothers. We do not separate faith from our farm. In fact, we know just how risky both of them are. And we were raised by wise parents who reminded us to NEVER take the easy way out.
Like farming, choosing to actually live out your faith on a daily basis, well that involves RISK. Risks that may or may not have the consequences you were hoping for. And knowing that the outcome could be difficult to handle or deal with, that’s what makes it “risky” to live out your faith in the way that the Lord calls His followers to do.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
So I want to encourage you in the days ahead, that as you move forward in your faith to remember that although risky, it is rewarding. Don’t back down just because you are afraid of the outcome. As my family works 20 hour days this fall to get our crop out of the ground that is relied on for a living, be faithful to the Lord as your eternity relies upon Him.