For a long time I thought farming was an interesting job, something I could never take up. But what I didn’t realize is that I’ve been a farmer all my life. Being a city man, all I thought farming consisted of was putting a seed in the ground, letting nature do its work, and receiving a crop. But that isn’t all that’s involved. First, the farmer must prepare the soil for the receiving of the seed and know where to plant. Preparing the soil takes a lot of work and quite a long time to do, and bad areas are simply avoided. Farmers till the ground to break up the soil and loosen the dirt so the seed can take root. If the soil is solid the seed cannot take root at all. It might for a while but can’t stand through storms because of shallow roots. And if the ground floods all the plants will wash away. Sometimes the ground is too steep for planting and could cause erosion. All the water or mud will rush in one direction and destroy the crop as well. So the farmer uses a groundwork called “terracing”, in which the farmer creates what looks like giant stairs in the ground to keep the crop from being “washed” away or eroded. After the tilling is finished, farmers spray the fields with pesticides and chemicals to kill off unwanted plants and crop-damaging insects and bugs.
Then, there is planting. Farmers scatter many seeds in rows across the fields. A lot of the seeds don’t make it too maturity because of birds, rodents, and other seed snatchers. Some seeds the ground just won’t accept. A large crop requires an even larger amount of sown seed. If the farmer desires his crop to take root, the previous work to planting is critically important.
After planting there is fertilizing and feeding. This can last all through the summer and up until harvest. Farmers fertilize their crop to feed them, nourish them, and create a larger output from the crop. The better the food for the plants, the better the crop will be. Some fertilizers require some rain to activate it. After activation better crop results are promising. An interesting fact is that the seed, after being planted, must die in order for life to begin.
Weather is also extremely important to the farmer. Living in the city, this issue wasn’t really a big deal because we spent most of our time inside, unless we were planning a trip to a theme park or wanting to make our grass and gardens look pretty. But a farmer relies on the weather for a majority of his success. A lot of their hope for a good crop and income is based on a trust that God will do what is necessary to take care of things. Nature takes its course through the amount of rain and sunlight. Rain is good, but too much rain drowns the crop. Sun is good, but too much sun scorches it. God is the one who brings the growth and most farmers understand that one. The ones I know pray for the weather they need for a good crop during harvest.
Sometimes there are pests that get into the crop as well. Farmers continually go out to their fields to check on their crop as it grows so they can see what needs to be done to nourish and protect it. The more a farmer keeps his field clean of critters and pests, the more likely they’ll have a profitable crop.
When the harvest is ripe, it’s time to bring in the crop and store it away and sell it. The quicker they can get the harvest in they better reduce the risk of losing any crop to the upcoming harmful weather and other continual threats.
This whole process is exactly the way God works using evangelism. Before Seed can be planted, the heart needs cultivating. The kind of heart a person has will determine just how well they accept the seed (Matthew 13:3-23). If the seed takes root in their hearts, it is our responsibility to nourish what was planted as it grows. God causes growth (1 Corinthians 3:6), so it isn’t our responsibility to cause growth to happen. Our responsibility is to plant the seed, nourish, care for, and help protect them (1 Corinthians 3:7, 8). Knowing where to plant is just as important: plant where hearts are ready for the Seed. Scattering seed to the wind is a waste of time, so move on to where the soil is more fertile.
The weather of life is also extremely important, vital to the spiritual growth of any person. Storms are good. They help us grow upward. But too many storms can drown us if we don’t know who to turn to. Sunny days are good. They help us grow outward. But too many “sunny days” can scorch our view of God and get us distracted by being either too busy with work to be done, or by our growing sense of accomplishments. When we receive too much sun we run the risk of burn-out. It’s very important for the “farmer” to pray for them so their hearts can receive what they need to grow spiritually and produce fruit.
When the harvest comes, the farmer must be ready. The quicker the farmer can save their souls from the coming destruction and eternal punishment, obviously the better off all of them will be. No one should want to go to hell and the farmer who cares about his crop won’t let any of the ones under his care perish.
God is into farming. And I just found out… I’m a farmer!