Farm livin’ or a time to plant

                                     *photo created with the vrsly app 

Day Three – Farm livin’ or a time to plant
We live in the corn, or the wheat, or the soybeans. It wasn’t something I saw coming in my life. But after being here for 11+ years, I love the flat growing fields, especially when the sunrise pops over the horizon. All you can see for a mile is shoots of fresh crop sprung up from the ground, and big bold beautiful colors filling the sky, with tiny red barns dotting the space in between. The contrast is amazing. And the food! We eat crazy fresh food. My beef comes from cows I have met, that lived less than a mile away, abundant produce baskets fill the narthex in the summer, and we do, in fact, own a cow with friends. Something that surprises even me.  Rural life has its benefits.
In these past 11 years I have learned to appreciate farming. I learn something new about the techniques and modern mechanisms of farming every day, but something the people taught me right away is that God is a farmer.
All we have comes from Him. We plant with our hands, only by His grace. Crops grow, only with His tender care. The harvest is plentiful and lean depending on the need God sees and His plans for men on earth, with the eternal in mind. God calls his earth good.
In Genesis 2:8 God plants a garden for Adam and Eve to reside in and after forming man with his very own hands, he uses those hands to make a home for him:
And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
God created and created, but He still planted a garden for His children. Remarkable!
As often as God talks about planting in the traditional farming sense, in the Scriptures, he also talks about planting people.
Look at Exodus 15:17-18, at the end of Moses’s song, after crossing through the Red Sea:
You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain,
the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode,
the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
The Lord will reign forever and ever.”
Where does it say that God plants the people? With Him.Yes!
On His holy mountain…not aimlessly, but firmly in His care, in His hands.
Just like the Israelites we are planted with care in the place where God puts us, we are never apart from His presence. We may walk out of His sanctuaries, buildings made by human hands, with His blessing, but we are the living stones. We are not just built, or even built up, sister. We are planted, with roots that run as deep as His faithfulness. And, oh man, is He ever faithful.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 is my daughter’s confirmation verse- to be:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
We pray for strong roots for our children and wings to fly, He gives them both without fail.
We understand this idea of God planting us as people, and even more as New Testament believers because he has planted His very self in us at our baptisms. We are now that sanctuary that houses His Spirit, Himself. We are planted in God, and need not fear.
Sometimes it is a time to plant new ideas, new jobs, new friends, new adventures, new challenges. We can embrace all of it with Him, knowing that He will plant firmly what is supposed to remain, while other things will pass away quickly because they are not in His long term plans.
Deciding on something new? Place it before Him.
Lord, plant me deeply in Your Word and Truth. Plant Your Love and Grace ever deeper in my heart. Thank you for sending Your Spirit to live in us and through us. Help me to be ever mindful that there is no greater gift, that You are in me. Guide my life, Jesus. Pluck me up, plant me where You would have me. Help me to identify what is of You and what is distraction. Help me in the struggle of growth. You, O Lord, You are the Farmer and Gardener of my soul. I trust in You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Discussion questions:
What is your favorite crop that comes from the ground and why?
Imagine the Garden of Eden. What does it look like in your mind when you picture it?
What new thing is God planting in your life?