A century ago, forty percent of Americans lived on a farm. Oh, how times have changed – dramatically. Now only one percent of us live on a farm. So, I’m not surprised that people I meet are curious about farm life. “What do you grow?” “Do you raise cattle and hogs? Or grow corn or wheat?”
I catch them off guard when I jokingly reply, “We grow ROCKS!” After a few laughs, they realize I must be serious.
No one has truly experienced farm living until they have painstakingly cleared a field, ‘fit the field,’ readied it for planting season, and then discovered that seemingly overnight, the field sprouts rocks!
Farming is not for the faint-hearted. Clearing fields is serious work. When our sons were young, we hooked up a ‘stone boat’ behind the tractor, and together we walked behind it, picking up rocks and pitching them onto that boat. The bigger the boy, the bigger the rocks he hefted. We could think we had succeeded in clearing a field of rocks, but, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat, frosts would raise more rocks to the surface during the winter months. UGH.
Why does it matter? Rocks can damage discs, planters, balers, and other equipment. And, of course, seeds don’t sprout and grow on rocks.
Those persistent rocks remind me of myself. I have laid burdens – boulders crushing my soul at the foot of the cross and believed I’d put them behind me. But too often, I return to that burden (a bad habit, sin, or worry), pick it up again, and continue to carry it. I return to the very thing that was trying to break me. Does this sound familiar to you?
Trying to eliminate burdens on my own usually leads to a disaster. Just as the rocks in the fields magically appear, Satan’s lies appear, weaving webs to trap my thoughts and actions. Yet when I embrace the words found in Psalm 94:22 (CSB), I can be at peace. “But the LORD is my refuge; my God is the rock of my protection.” My strength and my protection are always found in Christ.