For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
It’s one of the strangest things I’ve seen. The small town where I live is a diverse group of people with a diverse economy. Not too many years ago there were many coal mines providing massive amounts of jobs to those living in and around our town of Harrisburg. Also surrounding our town are fields and fields of crops…mostly soybeans and corn. While the coal mines fell victim to the economy and the unfavorable political landscape, fortunately the farmers are still planting and plowing away.
Well, not too far from my house, there is a soybean field that each year it is planted teaches me a very valuable lesson. As soybean fields go it is not that large, but it is still several dozen acres even though it is located in town. But what makes this field so different? Let me explain. By this time of the year, the bean plants have all turned brown and the pods and beans are left standing to allow them time to dry out. At the right time, the farmer will bring a combine in and in short order…the plants and beans will be history. Well, at least most of the plants.
You see, at this particular field, there is a busy road that borders the field. On that busy road there are two or three streetlights that are close enough to the field to illuminate the plants around that area all through the night. Because of that, the plants receive some sort of light 24 hours a day. That sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, my farmer friends tell me it isn’t. You would think more light equals more growing and more growing means more beans, but it just isn’t true with soybeans. You see, for the plants to sprout and produce beans they need a certain amount of darkness. Without that darkness, you have large, green, lush plants but not a single bean. Not one. Nada.
It can and would go unnoticed except for all the other plants in the field are brown and about to give up their harvest but the plants by the light are in stark contrast in two ways. Their color…green and their lack of a coming harvest. So, when the combine goes to that field, they will carefully avoid the green plants. There is no sense harvesting plants with no beans. They will be left standing as a testimony to a great truth. Soybeans, and people for that matter, need a little darkness to become what they were meant to be. Think about that.
None of us like hard times, valley times, but the truth is…that is when we learn, that is when we become stronger and if you are a spiritual person…that is when our faith in God grows the most. Being a Jesus follower, I’m inclined to believe that is at least one reason God allows some difficultly in our lives. People sometimes want to know if God is so good why does He allow this or that. Well, borrowing a line from the movie, “Rudy,” when he wanted to know why God hadn’t allowed him to make the Notre Dame football team, his priest said, “I know two things. There is a God. I am not Him.” That’s pretty powerful if you ask me.
We all want to know why bad things happen, especially to good people…I get that. I have a ton of questions personally, but I’m learning that in the times when I don’t get it…I don’t understand…I can still trust Him. And honesty…that just isn’t hard. As I look back over my life, I can see time and again how He stepped up for me…protected me…cared for me. Those times make the other times bearable. I like what Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Frankly, I like having a God so much bigger than me that I can’t figure Him out. There’s a calming assurance in that.
So, if you ever are driving through our farming country and you spot a brown field with green plants next to a streetlight, well, just remember this story and the lesson it taught us about soybeans and us. We need a little darkness to help us grow. And don’t you worry, if you are one of God’s kids, your Dearest Daddy knows exactly what He is doing. You can take it to the bank, or the grain bin, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne