- Lori Doner Jones
Winter Wheat (Where Are You?)
Updated: Jan 7, 2022
The morning got away from me quickly and soon my youngest, had missed her bus and I had to drive her to school. On the way back home, I passed a farm field full of Canada geese. It was early November and seeing hundreds them all gathered there like that gave me pause; what are they doing there? I got to the end of the road and then turned back, as there was something there that was worth another look.
Why were they there? What have they discovered in this seemingly barren field, covered in frosty white? What draws them there?
Well, I happen to know a farmer or two - so, I asked! The field is planted in winter wheat, you can see it already, just peeking through this morning’s light snow. Earlier this year, it would have had another crop on it, maybe soyabeans, which would have been harvested, and then a crop of winter wheat would have been planted probably end of September maybe early October. Perhaps the geese are munching on some beans left in the field – the remnants of a previous harvest, or perhaps they are dining on the crop that has been planted – the one yet to see a harvest. Clearly, they can see that this is not an empty field, though on first glance it looks that way - it’s actually full of life, just getting started.
Winter wheat is planted in the fall, this is when it develops a root system, it grows just a little, and then goes dormant over the long winter. It’s often planted in stubble from the previous crop that will trap in snow that serves to insulate it over the winter months and then – when timing and conditions are right, it awakens and starts to grow again.
The thing that struck me as I saw these birds congregate this morning is that even though the field looks empty, covered in frost and light snow, and this feels like an unlikely time for planting, there is something still growing… in the midst of winter coming, something new is taking form and springing up.
Our Christian lives are like that aren’t they? Sometimes in our seasons that feel most barren, when nothing seems to bear fruit, when everything seems harsh and frozen, God is working… preparing something, close to the surface and growing, something that is taking hold, growing roots, maybe even being insulated by the snow, or circumstances, that we are suffering through; things we might think are actually hindering us, are maybe the insulation to prepare the seed which is dormant… for now.
Sometimes I feel like that. I feel like nothing is happening the way I want it to, the results aren’t there, my efforts are worthless, why bother, it’s all a waste of time – I can’t see growth, I can only see the snow.
I wonder today:
Where are you?
I wonder if you relate to this description of winter wheat? I wonder if you feel like there are no seeds taking hold, or maybe like all the potential has been dormant for the longest time– buried – unable to break through or, maybe you feel like your harvest has come and gone and you have nothing more to offer, nothing to look forward to, no seeds to be replanted, or I wonder if you are silently growing slowly and very soon we are about to see new life and a new harvest coming…
Earlier this Fall our Women in the Word group worked through Beth Moore’s Study “The Quest.” In it we were introduced to 5 recalibrating questions which are intended to draw us into conversation with our Creator.
Over the next five weeks in this blog, we will be looking into these recalibrating questions from this study and examining our hearts and lives as we seek God with determined purpose.
Read Genesis 1:26- 2:17 and 3:1-9 noting each verse containing Words that God spoke directly to Adam. What Question did God ask in Genesis 3:9?
Now, switch places with Adam and let the divine inquisition land on you. Where are you? Write directly to God describing where you are in your present life. You have somewhere to go over these next weeks but any accurate route to your destination begins with your present location. If you’re in a relatively good place, tell Him about it. Get specific like you would with someone who really cares. On the other hand, you may be in an monotonous place or a desperate, momentous, miserable, painful or lonely place. Describe where you are with freedom of speech to God. In all likelihood your in a more nuanced place than one adjective can describe. Tell Him the complexities. – From "The Quest" by Beth Moore.
In order for us to grow, we need to take a hard look at our current location. Maybe sometimes we don’t even know where we are, until we stop and really ask ourselves that question.
Believe that God is at work.
Sometimes we just need to wait through the long winter for our winter wheat.