I recently read an online post where someone reacted to the idea of homesteading on a quarter of an acre. Basically, the response was, “What if the weather doesn’t cooperate? What if there is a drought or a flood?”
That’s fair. When we had freezing temperatures in the forecast the week before last, I was scrambling, covering plants, moving our starts into our do-it-yourself greenhouse and running extension cords to heat lamps to protect my baby chicks, goslings and ducklings.
There is a quote from Scripture that is likely misunderstood in our modern culture. It references two elements of nature: rain and sun.
In Matthew 5:45, as part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says this about God the Father: “‘He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust’” (ESV).
In the context of a first century agrarian society, both rain and sun were considered blessings to the farmer, to those who raised their own food. Jesus was teaching: to love your enemies and those who persecute you. God blesses both you and them with beautiful sunny days and beautiful rainy days.
Today rain is considered with contempt. It delays the ballgame or ruins the dress or slows traffic or ruins my hair. We look forward to sunny days. But on the homestead, sunny days and rainy days are beautiful. We need both.
I was wondering the other day, what if my family totally depended on our work ethic on the homestead, our skills and knowledge, and on the good graces of God bringing us rain and sun to ultimately bring in a rich harvest.
Isn’t that the purpose of every follower of Christ? That we proclaim the Gospel as if it depended on us? That we pray knowing it truly depends totally on God? Have we so pushed away from a visceral relationship with our food, with nature, with creator God? Have we lost that sense of total dependence? Do we miss the point that God is Sovereign and we are not? Do we miss the point that rainy days and sunny days are both blessings?
Plant your garden. Pray for both rain and sun. Trust in the providential provision of a holy and merciful God. Do not worry what you will eat or drink. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Trust in the Lord of the Harvest. Glory be to God!
Denny Dillman is benevolence pastor at Southeast Christian Church’s Blankenbaker Campus.