Today we FINALLY finished our FIRST cutting of hay! YAY! Normally, we should be getting ready to do our second cutting. With all the rain we had the last few months, it was challenging for any farmer to harvest hay. That is probably why I noticed there have been a lot of grouchy farmers around our area. Since we do not have hay equipment, we have someone else cut it, and then we help bale. The first farmer we had contracted out to do our pasture had over 100 acres to do and only a few days to get it all in, due to the rainy weather. He felt so bad about not being able to fit ours in. He advised us to start contacting every farmer we knew. We did, but they were all trying to get their pastures baled before more rain came. To harvest hay, farmers need three to four days of good, hot, DRY weather. This season that didn’t happen until the Fourth of July weekend. Every farmer we knew was scrambling to make hay. To make matters worse, many of them said their equipment had broken down and the parts stores were closed due to the holiday. That is why we didn’t get our pastures completely cut on July 4th. Some inexpensive part broke, which could have easily been replaced had the stores been open. So, unfortunately, about six acres were left standing. This past week, the weather allowed us to try again. The hay was cut on Wednesday and was due to be baled on Friday. However, the farmer didn’t finish his field, so he had to leave ours till today. Last night when he gave me the the news, I had to quickly call our butcher to tell him we wouldn’t be able to help butcher our meat birds, since we would be baling. He seemed relieved to have Saturday morning off. He could only reschedule them to the following Wednesday. I sighed, but was thankful we could do it then. Sadly though, Wednesday I had previously scheduled a rare trip to Lake Michigan to see our grandchildren. I have an uncomfortable feeling that we won’t make it to the beach that day. Ah, that is farm life!
While we waited for Jim and his equipment to arrive, a heavy anxiousness crept in upon us as dark storm clouds began appearing in the west. We knew the hay wouldn’t be much good if it got rained on. Once again we gathered the family together and prayed that our pasture would stay dry. At the end of the prayer Chris sweetly added, “God, if you choose to not answer our prayer, we will rejoice anyway. We will not worry, for You, God, are in control.” His words penetrated my anxious heart, and peace began to enter in.
Jim did arrive before any drops fell. We were thrilled that God answered our prayers. However, after about an hour, his baler broke. Was God trying to teach us something? It was about six o’clock. We didn’t have much time left. We all felt the pressure. We needed a baler and we needed it now. Once again our family joined together in prayer. Suddenly a little ray of hope appeared. Dad thought we should ask Mr. Sweet if we could borrow his small baler (really, Sweet is his last name). John Sweet lives close by; only about two miles away on a large dairy farm. The problem with that idea was finding Mr. Sweet. He never answers his phone, and looking for him is like looking for a needle in a hay stack! Jeff took off in the car and I kept praying. Jeff was pleasantly surprised to find John just coming in from the field. His big round baler had just broken too. Funny, farm equipment is so large and strong, but apparently so sensitive, like some men I know.
Well, John lived up to his name. He sweetly lent us his baler! Thank you, John. Once again I thanked God, for living up to His name as well; Faithful and True! He says that He will answer our prayers, and I have experienced that to be true. Of course, I have experienced unanswered prayers as well, but those have been few. So it is becoming easier to trust Him, as more and more prayers are answered. Those answered prayers give me security and comfort, and build trust, which carries me through the few difficult times God chooses to not answer my prayers. Like a farmer patiently waiting for a dry harvest window, I am learning to patiently trust God concerning my unanswered prayers. So, dear reader, remember, just because God isn’t answering your prayers in the way you would like, it doesn’t mean He isn’t listening. Keep praying! Perhaps God is waiting for you to obey Him or to trust Him more. Perhaps He knows that having to wait will help build good character in you. Maybe your request is unwise. Who really knows? Only God. What I do know is this: I have developed a habit of talking to God about pretty much anything. My requests range from minuscule to significant. I would guess He has answered about ninety percent of those requests. Once again today, I saw Him active in our lives. The dry bales are neatly stacked away in our barn. We are blessed, and I am thankful.
(This was written on the 25th, but not posted till the 27th… I was waiting for pictures.)