It was bound to come. A tough year. When a farmer gets several good years in a row, there's a nagging thought in the back of his mind that there's a tough year coming up. That tough year just may be this year.
It's been dry this year in Upstate New York. We had very little snow during the winter - a fact that made many residents happy, but we knew it would potentially wreak havoc on this year's crops. After a winter of little snow, we have had a spring and summer with even less rain. While our lima beans were floating away last year, this year's peas were drying up a week before scheduled harvest.
My husband is usually pretty happy and cheerful. He rarely worries. Last week, he worried. He asked our pastors if they knew of any work available because if it didn't rain soon, he'd have to get another job. This remark resulted in a church-wide e-mail from our caring pastors requesting people pray for rain.
At the opening of our Wednesday evening church service, our pastor, knowing the power of the faith of a child, asked if a young one would volunteer to pray, specifically for rain for Mr. McC's farm. In the center section towards the back, a hand went up - so small that a man sitting nearby had to call the Pastor's attention to it. Pastor called the little boy up to the platform and asked the child if he knew who Mr. McC was. He did. He knew he was a farmer. He knew he needed rain. Would he pray? He would. Pastor and little boy both kneeled down and we all heard the voice filled with innocence and faith pray for rain.
(Incidentally, this little boy's grandfather, a man he never met due to his grandfather's early death, was a good friend of my husband's. Any time this man needed prayer for something, he would ask our children to pray. Oh, Eric and I could pray if we wanted, he said, but he wanted the powerful prayers of the faith-filled hearts of children. Last Wednesday night, his grandson was the one praying for us.)
Fast-forward to Friday evening around 6:00 pm. The skies had been darkening for some time.
Then, the rain began to pour down. I saw my husband and daughter standing in the barn just looking out at the torrential downpour. After a couple of minutes, they began to walk to the house. Eric detoured to check the rain gauge and then continued walking toward the rest of us who were standing on the porch.
On Sunday, my farmer-husband bent his 6'3" frame down to speak to the little prayer warrior who knelt on the stage Wednesday night to simply ask God for rain. Eric showed him the two pictures you see above.
"When you get older and begin to doubt God, you remember these pictures."
It hasn't rained since and our corn is beginning to shrivel again. Yet, we do not despair. The peas that were so dry, the ones that were harvested before the rains came, yielded just as good as they have in years past. In fact, our peas - the ones that were prayed for - yielded better than the farmers' peas crops surrounding us. So, God can work miracles on our corn, too.
But, if He chooses not to, we saw Him work, and a little boy saw Him answer his prayer. That is the miracle most precious. No matter what, He is good....all the time.