At its core, farming is an endeavor of trust.
No one has figured out how to control the weather. It’s one of the tools God uses to remind us, even the control freaks among us, that we’re not in control of very much at all, really.
How do you feel about that? Is it unsettling? Embarrassing? Frustrating? Or maybe a little bit comforting, or considerably comforting?
Rain fed agriculture is ancient farming. It’s the way these yams are being grown here in northern Ghana. A family’s entire annual income depends on the rains. They prepare and then they wait. If God doesn’t send the rains they’ll have very little for the coming year.
The Bible is full of references to God sending the rains, the early and the latter rains. Withholding them was one of the ways He got Israel’s attention when they lost their spiritual focus. Which happened with devastating regularity.
The other thing I find interesting is that people that don’t believe in God still benefit from His meteorological generosity.
Jesus takes the fact of God’s generosity to the evil and makes it an object lesson for believers.
You don’t have to puzzle out the meaning. He gives it to us straight.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
We’re circling back to trust.
Do I trust God enough to extend myself to those who make my Enemies List?
To my persecutors?
The rain is gonna make me think of how I treat others.
Jesus is gonna help me be kind not mean or even just cold and distant.
To be generous instead of vengeful.
To be like my heavenly Father instead of like a person who doesn’t understand trusting God or the deeper lessons of rain.