A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
We passed this beautiful scene nestled up against Blue Mountain in northern Lebanon County on Tuesday morning. The bright yellow is a field of very dense rapeseed.
Click on photo to enlarge
Message summary: Most of us have some "embedded rock" in our lives, some people way more than others. Sometimes we can remove the rock, other times God gives us the grace to deal with it.
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"Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christís power may rest on me. That is why, for Christís sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).
We've mentioned over the past couple months how the farm field across the road was purchased by a local farmer who is making some improvements to the land with the goal of increasing crop yield. Trees were removed to both increase available tillable soil and to diminish the impact of the roots vying for nutrients.
When we bought our home in 2002 a feature we highly valued is living across from this "preserved farmland". This means the property has a deed restriction so that it will remain agricultural. Through the years the field has been planted with a variety of crops; mostly corn, soy beans and rye (a winter cover crop). The owners harvested the rye this week and soon they will plant corn.
Yesterday they made some more improvements that Mike, our farmer neighbor, had told me was coming. A large backhoe type machine went through the field with an attachment that looked and sounded like a jack hammer that broke up large rocks in the field. I learned that these rocks can easily damage the chopper used for the harvest and then it's a $4,000 repair. Later in the day they started the biggest project which was a large pile of rocks about 20 feet wide by 100 feet long. For years they just planted around this rock pile but after the pile is removed it can be planted over using no-till.
Dealing with rocks in a farm field has a spiritual application. The farmer has to be adaptive. Sometimes he can remove the rocks, other times he is forced to work around them.
It's that way in life as well. Most of us have some "embedded rock" in our lives, some people way more than others.
In this illustration embedded rock are those hardships in life we can:
1) Remove at great effort and expense.
2) Or by God's grace adapt, endure and overcome.
For some the embedded rocks is a physical disability. For others it's a family situation such as being born to drug-abusing, abusive parents or an unwed teenage mother and never knowing one's father. For some, although they are quite unlikely to be reading this material, it's being born and living in a desperately impoverished land and/or living under horrific persecution. We consider those in places like North Korea, Sudan and northeastern Nigeria and sadly many other places.
Now let me make it clear, God is certainly able to remove any form of embedded rock in our lives and amazingly He often does. But other times we are called to work around it and even put it to use so that God may be glorified (Romans 8:28). There are matters that in God's power He could remove, but in His providence He does not. Yet He does provide needed strength and grace to work around it or through it. Millions can testify to that grace.
Are you dealing with some embedded rock today? Are you in the midst of a rocky trial that just goes on and on? Is there a major rock outcropping in your life or an embedded rock weighing you down? God's grace is absolutely sufficient to either remove that rock or sustain and instruct you as you deal with it. Paul kept the faith and so can you. In fact you can be stronger as a result of the trial and God will be glorified through your faithful response to His testing. The daily text is surely one of the greatest assurance verses in the entire Bible. "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I want to keep my life embedded in the Rock of Ages. Whether our trials are emotional, physical, spiritual, financial or relational we are absolutely dependent on You for everything that we have need of. You work in the supernatural realm while we are confined to the natural unless Your power is manifested in our lives. Help us not to resent or be embarrassed by our weaknesses, but invite Your Holy Spirit power to work through them, so that we can learn endurance, find strength and seek to glorify You. Give us confidence in the Bible truth, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Amen.
More photos from our explorations in northern Lebanon County on Tuesday.
This mirror like pond and red colored windmill caught our attention.
This area (google map) with many rapeseed fields, which is one of the most colorful crops at spring harvest time. Rapeseed (yes that's the real name, see here) is used in this case for bird feed according to my local farmer friend.
Here's a beautiful aerial view from a field of rapeseed in the Lehigh Valley northeast of us.
This tractor needs some work but sure does trigger some memories from way in the past!
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