A Farmer’s Life

“The hard-working farmer must be the first to partake of the fruit.” II Timothy 2:6

Metaphors are used throughout the Bible to aid our understanding. Athletic metaphors are favorites in the Epistles. The world of athletics is often used to illustrate the Christian life. Mention is made of track and field (1 Corinthians 9:12), boxing (1 Corinthians 9:26), and wrestling (Ephesians 6:12).

One with much meaning that is rarely mentioned is the farmer. The farmer is used as an illustration of a good Christian. Having been reared on a family farm in an agrarian society, and having a degree in horticulture, I know a bit about farming. Consider some similarities between a farmer’s life and that of your life as a commendable Christian life.

A farmer (Christian) knows that occasional failure is inevitable. Regardless of how hard and smart he works, forces of nature can work against him causing failure. Still he does not become defeated, he perseveres. Perseverance is listed along with faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love in order to avoid being barren and unfruitful. (II Peter 1:5-9)

A farmer (Christians) must have a lot of patience which is definitely needed in order to deal with the surprises that may come his way. He knows what the Bible means “to wait on the Lord.”    

A farmer (Christian) must have a passion for and commitment to the work. Some years and seasons are worse than others and require more work. But farmers keep on going and work through the tough times in order to be productive.

A farmer (Christian) must be committed to life-long learning. Things change so fast it is imperative for him to be a continual-learner. Study to show yourself approved unto God.

A farmer (Christian) must be ingenious, creative and adaptable. As a good musician must master the fundamentals before improvising, so a farmer must master the fundamentals of his craft in order to improvise, adapt, and creatively respond to changing circumstances. 

A farmer (Christian) must be a problem solver, the challenges are many. A farmer who thinks a constant stage of life will be arrived at presenting no new challenges is in a state of self-deception. New problems needing a solution arise daily. The problems demand creative solutions.

A farmer (Christian) must be a good time manager. Deferred action can result in crop loss.

A farmer (Christian) knows three things: you reap what you sow, you reap later than you sow, and you reap more than you sow. Therefore, sow wisely, that is always consider “What then….” when acting.