“Dear Lord, what do we do now? Please, please, please show us the path that you want us to take.” As I prayed these words one morning last week, I was reeling with the shock of the bad news that Joey had just given me. He had just finished doing an early morning greenhouse check and to his horror, discovered that our entire pepper crop had been destroyed by mice. It’s not unusual for a mouse or two to find its way into the greenhouse, but for an entire crop to be eaten was unheard of. Yes, the loss of the peppers was quite a blow, but things were about to get worse.
That day, Joey prepared for war with the mice. He set out traps and did all the usual things that we do to eliminate mice. We prayed for the safety of the rest of our little plants and prayed that the mice would be caught. The next morning, Joey went down to check the greenhouse. The look on his face when he came back in the house was enough to tell me that there was trouble. The news was bad. The traps had not worked, and we had lost the entire tomato and eggplant crop.
Now, you all know that we take pride in our plants. We buy excellent seed from reputable sources, which means that it’s not cheap. With the crop losses from last year, this had already been a tight year financially on the farm. Now, not only were our new crops gone, but we had no money to replace the expensive seeds to try and start again. We were so bewildered and confused. Was God trying to lead us in a different direction? Was this an attack from the enemy trying to destroy us? Again, we joined hands and prayed for guidance.
We made our way to church that morning with heavy hearts. As we found our way to our seats, I brushed past my mother-in-law who said, “You don’t look quite yourself this morning”. In a whisper soft voice, I barely could choke out the words to tell her that all the crops were gone.
As Joey sat down, one of the ladies from our church pressed an envelope into his hand. When we opened it, we saw it was a beautiful card for our upcoming anniversary. When we looked inside the card, we were shocked to find that it contained money. With that, I began to feel hot tears sliding down my face. We filled our church members in on what had happened and they prayed with us and offered such wise words of counsel. They all shared stories of hard and puzzling times that they had been through and told us that even though they didn’t know the answer to our problem, God did and that he would take care of us. God used their support and encouragement to wrap us in a blanket of love and protection and by the time that the service ended, I was feeling much steadier.
That night, we got phone calls and texts offering help in replanting from many different church and community members. The outpouring of support was tremendous, but even though we had willing workers, we didn’t have the means to replace the seeds. At our evening prayer, we once again poured our hearts out to God, wondering what to do. Did God have something in mind for us other than the farm?
The next day, we were approached by two different ladies, who each handed us folded up money and said that they just wanted to help out. We were stunned. Between the envelope that we had been given at church and these two ladies, we had the exact amount that we needed to replace the seeds. We had never told anyone how much it would cost to replace the seeds and we had never told anyone that we didn’t have enough to replace the seeds. This could only be from God.
Again, we prayed and Joey and I both felt that God was telling us to try again. So, this week, Joey will go back into the greenhouse and dump out all those trays with broken plants and start fresh with tiny new seeds. Life isn’t always easy. It isn’t always fair. It certainly doesn’t always make sense. We are blessed to have new seeds and new potting soil, but we are immeasurably blessed to have a powerful God. I can’t say for certain that the mice will stay away. I can’t say for certain that everything will turn out perfectly. But, I can absolutely, positively say that God is still in control. Is His plan for us to keep farming? We hope so. We still don’t have all the answers or even everything we need to get through the whole season, but we do have hope, prayer, and a powerful God that we can call on at any time for guidance and direction. We are walking in faith, taking baby steps. Where He leads, we will follow.