Lessons from a farmer

By Dave Henning / December 29, 2012

Ann Voskamp’s (One Thousand Gifts) brother-in-law John, like her husband, is a farmer.  The lessons he’s learned on the job trickle down to other areas of his life as well.  Although John’s words specifically reference farming, they have a much broader application:

“Farmers, we think we control so much, do so much right to make a crop.  And when you are farming, you are faced with it every day.  You control so little.  Really.  It’s God who decides it all.  Not us.  It’s all good.”

John has learned to say yes to whatever God gives.  At the age of 4 months, John’s firstborn son died of a genetic disease that atrophied his lungs.  Eighteen months later, John’s second son Dietrich died of the same disease at the age of 5 months.   Yet John’s reaction to Dietrich’s impending death reflects not rationalization of gut-wrenching pain, but trust in God:

“We’re just blessed.  Up till today Dietrich’s had no pain.  We have good memories of a happy Christmas. . . . and we had five months with him.”

Although John might wish he could write a different ending to Dietrich’s story, he understands that might not be the best idea, because he doesn’t know what a different ending would hold.  Ann concludes:

“There’s a reason I am not writing the story and God is.  He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means.  I don’t.”


About the author

Dave Henning


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