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Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Peter Langbroek
John lay his barn coat on the chair in his study and pulled out the swivel chair to sit behind the computer. He paused before he logged on. It was last fall--now it was spring--but still, he couldn't get used to the silence in the home. His 17 year-old daughter and 9 year-old son were at school. At times, he thought they were the only ones he lived for since last fall. Married 18 years and then to see his wife suffer and then die of cancer Ðthe memory shot pain in his heart. For his children too, it was so hard. His son David--he was such a mommy's boy. John logged on.

While the computer logged on, he looked at the mantel full of trophies: best dairy production, first prize milking cow. A plaque hung on the wall for his work in the milk producer's association. And there he was, in the picture on the wall, next to the Minister of Agriculture. How he prided himself in the farm. How he loved it when people said his barns were so clean you could eat off the floor.

He paused again. Then he remembered the sermon on Prayer Day, and the text: " For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach himÓ (Isaiah 28: 26). He looked at the trophies again. Didn't I learn and earn my reward? I didn't go to any school--me with a Grade 10 education. I'm a self-taught man--so he thought, until this passage taught him otherwise.

Expertly, with two clicks on the mouse, John was in the farm management program. What an invention! John could figure how much fertilizer and corn seed he needed for his freshly plowed 50 acres. He had carefully studied the soil and knew exactly what kind and how much fertilizer was needed. Some typing and searching for one half-hour and John grabbed his coat and was out the door to the machine shed.

There it was--a shiny red Case early riser planter, just bought three weeks before--ready for seeding the first time. He never bought farm equipment without careful reading and investigating. It had to be the right equipment for the right work. "No one picks raspberries with a corn harvester," he'd say. He scanned the machine shed: the plow, the disk harrow, the round baler--all Case, all shiny red. They were his toys, and he took good care of his equipment.

John climbed into the cab of the tractor to begin his long day of seeding. He had many hours to think. Later, as he sat in the cab, he thought again. He found the tape: Prayer Day Service, March 8, 2000. He put it in the cassette deck and listened. He thought back on the pain, confusion, and emptiness--how he loved her, how David and Sandra loved her! He listened again to the message of God as a farmer.

God doesn't plow over and over again. He plows to seed and he seeds in the right places and the proper soil. He seeds for a harvest, and when the harvest has come, He uses the right equipment to thresh the crops. For fitch* He threshes gently; for wheat He threshes forcefully. "This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in workingÓ (Isaiah 28: 29).

It was soon 4:30, time for milking. Walking toward the house, John could see his son David through the screen door, playing as always, with his John Deere tractor toys. He could see David with the tractor and the harrow. He smiled--a chip off the old block.

No, everything he knew about farming was wisdom from God. He had to listen (Isaiah 28: 23). God has His times and seasons for doing His work. If His wisdom is seen in the obvious things of daily work, how much greater is His wisdom in governing the world, ruling the church, and guiding the affairs of every person, even in the painful things a person can never understand.

Tears welled in John's eyes, and he prayed to himself, "Lord, teach me this wisdom, and teach it to my children."

*fitch=soft dill seed

cummin=a spicy seed

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