Life on the Farm Day 5: Resting Season
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11, ESV)
In Iowa, a farmer’s resting season comes during the cold winter months of January, February and March. Ben is still busy hauling corn to the plants to which he sold his crops, but it’s not the same busyness that comes with planting, growing, and harvesting. Sometimes we think of rest as hanging out on the couch and being lazy. But the actual definition of rest is to “cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” A resting season does not mean lying around binge watching on Netflix. A resting season is when you take time to work on your mind, body, and soul. The thing Ben loves the most about farming is that each season comes and goes. Planting and harvesting can be very stressful, but he has the resting season to recover and regroup his mind and body before it all starts again.
The world we live in is extremely fast paced and overly connected. More than ever, we need to stop and rest from it all—to truly meditate in God’s Word. Pastor Rick Warren once said, “Surprisingly, if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate on the Word of God. Worry is when you take a negative thought and think on it over and over and over. When you take a passage in Scripture and think on it over and over and over, that’s called meditation.” It’s amazing how the Bible can reveal different things to us, and oftentimes something will speak to us at just the right moment. But in order to experience that, we need to pause and really spend time meditating in God’s Word. “The more you read the Bible, and the more you meditate on it, the more you will be astonished with it.”- Charles Spurgeon.
The reason we need rest is that we have been working or exerting energy in some way. We rest, and feel rested for a time, but it doesn’t stay that way. We work again, we help others again, we become tired again. Getting rest for the sake of rest is not actually the point; we rest so that we can work again. Ben has a rest from planting and harvesting, but when spring comes, he is planting again; and then fall arrives and he is harvesting again. He rests in between so that he can get back at it. We need to find the balance of working and resting, of being filled up so that we can once again pour out. One of my favorite verses is found in Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” It seems our hearts and minds are always racing. But when we quiet them and spend time with God, we are nothing short of amazed by His power. His unconditional love for us is what fills our cup so that we can continue planting, growing, and harvesting.