A Light in the Darkness

November 9, 2009 | 30 comments

The Creator said the harvest always comes if we do not give up, and I watch the promise unfold in a cloud of harvest-dust.

It’s misty-black all around, and the combine’s lights guide Scott down rows of soybean plants dripping with ready pearls. I’m in my van on field’s edge, with the window rolled down so I can hear the combine lumbering closer. I watch his lights come up over the edge of Earth, and he sees my lights, too.

My cell phone starts to sing its ring-tone: “I will rise, when He calls my name, no more sorrow, no more pain.”

It’s my favorite farmer calling.

“Hey,” I answer. “Making progress?”

Yeah, finally,” he said, and I can hear relief in his words. “Pray for no more combine break-downs, OK? But yeah, doing good. Really good.”

I wanted to witness the night-harvest, I tell him, and I hope he can tell in the unspoken places how proud I am of him. This is his first harvest without his father. Scott is now the patriarch of this century-farm.

There’s another father here for the harvest: mine. A Dukes man has come to help a Lee man. In our own darkness — where the unknown lingers in shadowy places — people walk with us, like God-Reflectors shining little lights on our path.

“It’s so dark out here. How far out can you see?” I ask as the combine ambles closer, its black teeth gobbling rows.

“Not far enough,” he says and laughs. “I don’t know. Maybe 20 feet.”

“Oh, gotta go,” he says, as an alarm squawks in the background. “Grain tank’s full. Call me later, OK?”

He steers away from soybean rows to fill waiting wagons, and his harvest rushes from the auger in a golden river.

I stay to watch, and think about how so much of what we harvest happens on the cusp of darkness. We labor in Light, but a dark blanket covers the path ahead. We have only enough Light for this step, for He never lets us see too far ahead. Instead, He peels back the dark as we step forward in faith.

God promised a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path. He didn’t give us floodlights so that we could see what stretches ahead, nor spotlights to shine on what’s past.

It’s been a hard year, tinged with pain and death and grief and prayers that God didn’t answer the way we wanted. It could all seem so dark — except that it wasn’t. God gave us Light, even in black-rimmed days.

We were never left in the dark. Never.

The Son lit the path, and asks us to trust as we lumber forward in the Kingdom harvest.

This weekend, I attended a Celebration of Life for a dear friend — a mama of two young children, a wife, a funny and smart woman who made us better people. She lived in the light of each day, never looking too far ahead.

Her program included several sayings that she lived by, including this one: “God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.”

I like that.

I can trust Him when I’m balancing on the edge of this spinning orb,
when I’m taking a step into inky darkness,
knowing that when I get there,
The Son will shine.
“Follow me,” He says.
And I press in so close
that my forehead rests on his back —
the same back that carried
the weight of a cross
up a hill.

“Thy Word is a lamp unto our feet,
and a light unto our path.”
— Psalm 119:105

I stay with Him. Because He is Light. And in Him, there is no darkness at all.

***


I write today in honor of Erika, who trusted God even when she could see no further than the next hour. “Whatsoever things are lovely …” We used to recite that together. You are one of the lovelies, Erika. I think on these things …

by | November 9, 2009 | 30 comments

30 Comments

  1. isumom

    A Dukes man helps a Lee man…and farther east in the great heartland of Iowa a Falkena man helps a Josephson man. Life is good 🙂

    Reply
  2. Bina @ Bina's Pad

    Beautiful…as always.

    "God promised a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path. He didn't give us floodlights so that we could see what stretches ahead, nor spotlights to shine on what's past."

    Truth..

    …laid out in perfect timing to a simple beat…

    My heart stretches out from sunny CA to yours in a long hug.
    Bina

    Reply
  3. ~*Michelle*~

    I grinned from ear to ear when I read "my favorite farmer"….totally sweet.

    My heart breaks hearing about your friend Erika…not for her, so to speak, because I know she is seated at Our Creator's feet healthy and whole….but for all the people, including you, whose lives she has brighten and blessed.

    …..and may you continue to shine His Light as you always do.

    Reply
  4. lynnrush

    Fantastic post. I rest in the knowledge that he lights my path. Even if I can't see further than 20 feet.

    And right now, during this season of unemployment, it's just that…barely 20 feet . . . But HE still lights my way.

    Thanks for this post!

    Reply
  5. christy rose

    I love the lesson of this post! God wants us to see in front of us. His light shines in the darkness. But, not too far. For then, the temptation to fear or try to figure out how to get to the finish point could ruin the "now."

    Reply
  6. Tea With Tiffany

    Thank you for being a fresh reminder of the "light and darkness" lesson I taught my kids yesterday. I love how God does that. He uses His people to repeat His message in my heart. It sticks better that way.

    Sorry about your loss, Jennifer. What a sweet tribute to your friend.

    Hugs and much love,

    Tiffany

    Reply
  7. Graceful

    Jennifer, this is so beautiful. I love the imagery of the light and the lamp that you weave throughout the story. And I love your dear friend Erika's saying that God made the Earth round so we couldn't see too far ahead. Wise words, Erika. And thanks for sharing them with us today, Jennifer.

    Reply
  8. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought

    I could hear your voice on the phone describing the sound. As I read your wonderful description I was there with you. You brought me along, as you do with every post.
    Thank you,
    ~Wendy

    Reply
  9. Deborah Ann

    Awwww…my favorite farmer. You are so down to earth Jennifer. I love that about you!

    Reply
  10. Rose

    Great lesson in this. I am sorry about Erika. This was a wonderful tribute for her.

    Hugs,

    Rose

    Reply
  11. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    Looks like our part of the country as well. Combines at night is commonplace around here as our farmers attempt to get their crops out. Some good – some not.

    Love you

    Reply
  12. Tony C

    Very nice!

    The light will overtake the darkness each and every time. No matter how dark it may be, the smallest source of light will shine.

    As a matter of fact, the darker it actually is… the brighter the light will seem.

    Beautiful post.

    Reply
  13. Arianne

    Just love the…"He peels back the dark as we step forward in faith" That is how it happens isn't it?! Hope you continue to be able to harvest….we have small showers moving in as I type….we just need a few more days.

    Reply
  14. RCUBEs

    Great tribute for one of God-reflectors in your life! Glad that you had a great harvest, aided with that light in the darkness of the night…Great post…always…Blessings.

    Reply
  15. Shirley

    Wow! Some beautiful thoughts!!!

    Reply
  16. hope42day

    Beautiful post…that is all I can say…thank you for sharing the gift of your heart.

    Reply
  17. Jennifer

    Beautiful, beautiful post! Thank you for reminding us we are never left in the dark!

    Reply
  18. Wylie

    So beautiful! Thank you for the post. I love the picture you painted of the harvest, and the blessings of your husband working faithfully, as unto serving the Lord. So blessed to have stopped over today!
    Joyfully,
    Wylie

    Reply
  19. Beth E.

    Farming is such a hard life. I appreciate your husband for all that he does!

    Oh, and might I just add…I love soybeans. They are delicious!

    Reply
  20. Lyla Lindquist

    Oh, oh…

    Been trying to comment all day.

    I give up. Words, gone. Hope, alive.

    Reply
  21. Fridaydreamer

    It is so hard for me not to be jealous of you farm girl bloggers and the rural lives you get to lead. The land your family is farming is so like (and not too many miles away from) the land my Grandpa farmed and some of that rich Iowa dirt must be in my blood. I refuse to complain about living in the city–I'm thankful for many things here. BUT! It is not natural for me and I chafe a little, feeling frequently a fish-out-of-water. I do so love to look through the window on your world–thank you so much for sharing it! And just think, when I experience it this way, it doesn't even make me sneeze!!

    Shaunie

    Reply
  22. Missy

    Another beautiful post.

    I am in a dark place right now. I think I needed to have someone remind me that there is a light shining for me.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  23. mom2six

    "so much of what we harvest happens on the cusp of darkness"..taking a step into the darkness where He shines the light one step at a time. Trust and faith and God brings the light and treasures that we could not see a moment before when the darkness was there. Your words have stirred me this morning! I am sorry about the loss of Erika.

    Reply
  24. Carol

    I sang in church Sunday. "All of Me"…remembering with my congregation where I was 5 years ago, taking care of Mom, taking care of son and his wife, taking care of school and football and soccer and twins, and trying to breathe in and breathe out. I was unhealthy and unhappy, barely able to put one foot in front of the other. It took a little while, but I realize that God never left my side and it took being broken and turning it all over to Him to heal me and help me go on. I LOVE how you write. IT gets me to thinking, Girl! Happy for your bountiful and safe harvest!

    Reply
  25. Chris Godfredsen

    Some may think this sounds weird (I know you won't, Jennifer, because you know how much Scott means to me) but as we drove up the state highway running past some Lee ground Saturday night headed for Bible study, I prayed as my favorite farmer was northbound in his combine swallowing up the harvest.

    Continuing to pray through this harvest, but having tears at the desk in my office is probably not a great idea. I should read your stuff at home, I guess!

    What a wonderful post…

    Reply
  26. Chris Godfredsen

    Some may think this sounds weird (I know you won't, Jennifer, because you know how much Scott means to me) but as we drove up the state highway running past some Lee ground Saturday night headed for Bible study, I prayed as my favorite farmer was northbound in his combine swallowing up the harvest.

    Continuing to pray through this harvest, but having tears at the desk in my office is probably not a great idea. I should read your stuff at home, I guess!

    What a wonderful post…

    Reply
  27. Miriam

    mmm-mmm-mmm you spoke to my heart…again…Jennifer, I praise God for the beauty you bring to my life…

    Reply
  28. Rosario

    I did not read your post yet but wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your post because they inspire me. I wanted to share with you that I was in Hospital for 3 days. Can you please share with friends to pray for me. I might be pregnant and we are praying is not an ectopic pregnancy. Please read my last post to know more. Thank you.

    Reply
  29. Mike Franey

    Jennifer,
    What a beautiful post! Your favorite farmer is carrying on the Lee tradition with the pride that his father taught him.

    Carry carefully on Scott! It is great that Papa is helping you too!

    Your brother in law
    Mike

    Reply
  30. Mike Franey

    Jennifer,
    What a beautiful post! Your favorite farmer is carrying on the Lee tradition with the pride that his father taught him.

    Carry carefully on Scott! It is great that Papa is helping you too!

    Your brother in law
    Mike

    Reply

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