Tuesday, June 09, 2009

“The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to man.” Psalm 115:16

The crop planned for our farm this year is sweet corn. The crop must be planted according to a schedule provided by the processor (Seneca). The purpose of the planting schedule is to hopefully have corn coming to peak maturity at different times as to even out the processing load at the processing plant.

As of today, our corn has not yet been planted. The renter will plant when instructions are given by the processor. We had a problem—we were very dry. Last week I dug down to find moisture at the 2+ inch level; a little too deep to plant sweet corn. Then this weekend we had a very slow rain; the best you can get to replenish the soil. A slow rain allows all the moisture to get into the ground for maximum availability for the crops or gardens. What a blessing!

We attended a high school graduation in another town this weekend. It has been a long time since we have driven through rain. The soil in a field east of Bird Island was as black as black could be due to the moisture. The crops were as green as green could be. For this ol’ country boy, this was a site to behold! A good rain, beautiful soil, and crops which are healthy and growing—what a blessing!

At the graduation party, I met a foreign exchange student from Europe. She was pleasant and we had a great conversation.

I asked her what surprised you most about America. She did not hesitate. “The people are open and friendly and work hard at being part of the community.” She added, “Everyone has been friendly and kind to me.” I thought her observation was interesting.

Another thing that surprised her was the size of our farm fields. She said it would be hard for Europeans to realize these flat, black fields go northwest all the way to the Canadian border.

These beautiful fields were not beautiful fields when the settlers arrived. Most of Renville County Minnesota was lowland swamps when the first settlers arrived. The early surveyors wrote in their notes that they couldn’t see any good purpose for this place. Yet 150 years later, it is the bread basket of the world.

The swamps were turned into verdant fields with a lot of ingenuity and hard work. Many settlers came; all did not stay. This was, and is, a hard place. It gets hot in the summer, cold in the winter, not to mention the rocks, grasshoppers, mosquitoes and throw in a tornado or blizzard now and then.

Yet…God gave us the earth. With God given strength, ingenuity and perseverance the settlers turned these swamps into some of the best farmland in the world but if it doesn’t rain, we end up with nothing more than expensive dust.

God has and continues to be good to us mere men. The timely rain could not have come at a better time and in a better way.

So next year when you’re enjoying your sweet corn in the dead of the winter, remember God has given us the earth and we must endure and persevere. Everyone on the prairie realizes this fact—we are only here by God’s grace. If you think the Europeans are impressed, just talk to an American farmer. They are impressed with the hard work and faithfulness of their forefathers and with God’s kindness shown to them.

The Lord has been good to us again… May we ever be grateful!

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