Waiting on the Weather

Lord, this ain’t easy. I’m almost two months late to get that garden tilled and planted. We still can’t disc the hay meadow and get that seed in the ground. And Lord, you know I need to get that hay mowed and the west pasture sprayed. I’m not complaining about all the mud, Lord, honest I’m not, but when are you going to give us a break so we can get all this done? I’m tryin’ real hard to wait on You, Lord. Can You give me just a week of drying out and another couple of days to get it all done? Have you ever said a prayer like this? It’s a common theme for farmers and ranchers.

Regular followers of our Around the Cross-Dubya blog know God has blessed our little ranch with an abundance of rain this year. This comes after eighteen months of severe drought that came close to putting us out of business. I’ve promised to never complain about pulling mud again, and I won’t start now. At some point, the chores pile up and a tidal wave of concern builds in your mind. You wonder how you can get everything done.

There’s hay that needs mowing, and you can’t lay it down because the wet ground and coming rains will ruin it before it can dry. The thought of losing all that ryegrass, clover, and vetch again this year breaks my heart. If the garden isn’t in soon, it’ll be too late in the season for the seed to take root. Without getting that west hay meadow replanted, there’s no chance of getting enough hay to get through next winter. We can’t afford a winter’s worth of $100/bale hay again this year. Yet, I wait upon the Lord.

Waiting on God is less about Him and more about you. #WaitingOnGod #GrowingYourFaith Click To Tweet

Each morning and evening, we open the weather app on our phones. About the time we think there’s a glimmer of hope, another shower arrives. On saturated ground, a half-inch of rain simply means more standing water in our pastures and fields. So, we wait. As I wait on this day, the familiar words of the psalmist echo through my mind.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

(Psalm 27:14, NKJV)

What I’ve learned through the years is that waiting on God is much less about what He’s doing and more about what we’re doing. My faith tells me He will do what is His plan to do. Often, I’ve found I delay His plan by resisting it. If you’re like me, and maybe King Saul, we must fight the urge to plow ahead and let God catch up to us. We know how that turned out.

Instead, we should seek to understand what His plan is. Unfortunately, He sometimes keeps that to Himself. So what do we do? The answer is, we do. Waiting on God to reveal His plan for us, to send His blessing, is not a time to sit impatiently and do nothing. All this does is provide a breeding ground for worry, complaint, and doubt. Waiting for a break in the weather to get a growing list of tasks completed, here are some things I’ve been doing:

  • Chickens: Adding egg production and an extra meat source helps us prepare for days ahead when those things might not be available or affordable.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Servicing and fueling all the equipment makes sure it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice, avoiding costly down-time.
  • Preparing: These delays have given me extra time to prepare myself and the materials needed for the writer’s conference I’ll be attending in a few weeks. I’ve been trying to get there for four years.
  • Seeking: The most important activity has been seeking God’s face and His will. Drawing closer to Him brings great peace. Seeking to understand His will for me helps me prepare for His next assignment.
  • Serving: Whether it’s weekly AWANA meetings for the kids, our church’s work day, or chasing my beautiful bride to various appointments, helping others is a productive way to serve God.

While I don’t know God’s plan for my tomorrow, next week, or next month, my faith in Him assures me that He will reveal it when He’s ready. Until that time, I do. I move forward in what I know, and I leave my unknowns in His hands. Many times, we hear people cite Romans 8:28 when troubles arise. We tell others that God will bring good from whatever their circumstance, but do we have a strong-enough faith to believe it? Do we accept, in faith, that which we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1)? Each time I’m able to wait upon the Lord, my faith grows stronger.

Isaiah 40:31 is a verse that brings comfort in my waiting. It reminds me that God will always be there to keep me safe in the storm. Whether that storm is literal or raging within my psyche, I can find peace knowing God is there, waiting to help me soar when the time is right. When I wait upon the Lord, I can endure any trial through the strength He provides.

In this time of chaos and uncertainty throughout this world, whether I get our garden in and hay baled matters little. To God, what matters is whether we trust Him to see us through the wait. Whatever season of wait you find yourselves in, I encourage you to be doers of the Word, as detailed in James 1:22-25. In living out our faith, we find strength through our waiting upon Him.

God’s blessings,

56 thoughts on “Waiting on the Weather”

  1. Exercising faith in the waiting is not easy but it is a calling—an assignment— which shows God we know Him well, and that we trust Him. It’s another opportunity to please Him but is especially tough for a bootstrap, bull by the horns kind of person.
    Seeing your wait-time accomplishments is encouraging.

    1. Thanks for reminding me waiting is not sitting still twiddling my thumbs. I appreciate the way you use everyday problems to show our Lord’s grace and lovingkindness. Blessings on you and your bride!

      1. J.D. Wininger

        Absolutely Ms. Marjorie. It important to me that I always keep moving forward as plowing already plowed ground doesn’t do much for the harvest. We have to sow into what we’ve prepared. Have a blessed day ma’am.

    2. I hear you Ms. Connie. There are times when I can be the most impatient person in the world; just ask Ms. Diane. 🙂 With God’s help though, I’m getting better. I too find when I’m impatient, I also become impetuous and I try and get ahead of God. Well, we both know how that works, don’t we? Thank you so much for commenting ma’am. I am so blessed by your faithful friendship.

  2. Oh, my! The pendulum swings wildly, doesn’t it? But in the meantime, there’s always the waiting. Occasionally, my Daddy would take me to work with him in the summertime. As a meat salesman (Wilson Packing Co.) he called on lots of Mom & Pop grocery stores in his territory. We often had to wait for the butcher or owner to have time to give their order for the next delivery. As we sat, I remember Daddy told me, “We spend half of our lives waiting. Might as well get used to it and make the best of it.” The Lord gives us plenty of opportunity to live into the fruit of the Spirit – patience among the rest. Praying for your window of opportunity to get your tasks done.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Yes ma’am, but that’s the life of farmers and ranchers; and I suspect gardeners too. 🙂 Sounds like your daddy was a wise man Ms. Dottie. “Making the best of it” is something we should strive to do with every aspect of our lives, I think. That’s what I try to do with my salvation and the many gifts God has blessed with me, make the best of them through their use and learning. God’s blessings sweet sister.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Amen Ms. Ann. That’s a great credo for every farmer; “He cannot and will not fail.” Thank you ma’am.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Isn’t that what faith is Ms. Diana, accepting the unknown? Thank you so much for your “amen” ma’am. I’m so glad that we are moving forward together for His kingdom ma’am.

  3. Ah, the life of a rancher – from drought to downpour. Thank you for eloquently sharing how you see God in all of it and encouraging me to do the same in my seasons of drought and abundance. Praying for you, friend, that your time at the writer’s conference is fruitful!

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thank you Ms. Karen. Not sure if you’ll be there or not, as I suspect it’ll be hard to break away from that beautiful grandchild (you’re too young to be a memaw), but I look forward to the day I can meet you and thank you for your steadfast support. This side of heaven or the next ma’am, that day will come.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Awww… thank you Ms. Carla. That He does ma’am. Something I do when planting every crop or delivering/doctoring every new calf is to stop and praise God for His steadfast love. I’ve had to pray and offer my thanks over failed crops and dead calves, and those are difficult times to praise for sure. Yet, those times remind me that He is still God and still worthy to be praised ma’am. Even in the waiting and resting, I know He’s at work in my life.

  4. Dear J.D.,

    This topic isn’t unknown to me. I’ve not had a track record of watching my ps and qs.

    However, some time ago I spoke to a group in our church in the mountains of NY. The title, “Patience Is an Action Verb.” You’ve very well pointed that out with your downtime maintenance program.

    The other thing I realized after working in a restaurant serving others reflects like thought. Waiting on others is demanding. Turns out, waiting is an action verb, too.

    Best blessings, friend.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Well said Mr. Warren. I can assure you, those are important lessons to learn sir. When we serve others, we have to learn patience. And to learn patience, we have to experience impatience. God’s blessings my friend and my best to your lovely Ms. Barb. Y’all home from Israel?

  5. Having the faith to wait on God’s good and perfect timing is a gift in and of itself, J. D. Boy, have I had to learn that the hard way! Always, God makes our waiting well worth it.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Yes ma’am. Those are often hard-learned lessons my friend. Thank you for sharing that I’m not alone in that.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thank you Ms. Vera. Am so glad you’ve joined us here ma’am; and I look most forward to how you’ll add such value to our conversations. God’s blessings ma’am.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thank you Ms. Nancy. It’s been nearly four years of trying ma’am, so am excited and nervous. Thank you for the prayers. I’m watching the clouds to see the rains coming as God provides all we need, when He wants us to have it. Until that time, we have to have faith. Hope to see you at Blue Ridge ma’am. God bless.

  6. The life of a farmer or rancher sounds like a life of faith and dependence. All of our lives should be, but we don’t always feel it when we rely on a regular paycheck. Yet even that is not a sure thing in today’s world, when a company can fail or be bought by someone else with the employees having no warning until it happens.

    I was praying about something recently–I can’t even remember what it was now–but I remember thinking that for God to answer it, He’d have to reverse the effects of the Fall of man. That won’t likely happen til He returns.

    I love your points here–to keep doing what’s at hand until God opens the way and keep trusting no matter what.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Oh, it absolutely is Ms. Barbara. Sometimes the hardest words for me to speak are, “It’ll be better next year.” I know that my faith in God will be steadfast and that I will continue to praise Him in the good and the bad, but I don’t think I’m wrong to pray for the good. God’s blessings and I pray that God answers your prayer with the clarity you need to understand and accept His will my friend.

  7. I’m late, but I finally got here, and I especially love the concept you encapsulated in those highlighted words, “we do.” The idea is more important than it sounds. It reminds me of a message I attempted to deliver decades ago on the subject of waiting on the Lord. Other than not being as effectively communicated as yours, the difference was in the analogy I used. I did play a little football and baseball in my younger days, and I approached it from my brief exposure to high school athletics. I could have been a standout player except for the ridiculous emphasis the coach put on stuff like speed, agility, a strong throwing arm, actually hitting the ball once in a while, and catching it when it comes your way.
    Anyhow, my point was that the thing we signed up for was playing the game, but we couldn’t always be doing that. We only had one game a week and sometimes they were cancelled for one reason or another. Then, there was the summer break when no games were scheduled and nothing was happening. The bottom line was that there was a lot of in-between time to deal while we waited for the next game. Obviously, that’s also true of professional athletes. None of those guys spends his or her in-between time and/or off seasons just sitting around. As you wisely pointed out, there are things to do. Activities that don’t seem to involve the sport directly can have significant impact on performance. A competitor who’s stronger, healthier, or more well adjusted mentally and spiritually is almost certainly going to perform better when he or she takes the field again. If I had done more than have another Twinkie or two during the waiting time back then, I’d have been more of an asset to the team.
    As intended, you have me thinking about more than the obvious things and it’s refreshing to shift the focus of my attention away from the “squeaking wheels” demanding some grease I don’t have right now. Thanks so much for that.
    Mrs. Diane and I do tend to notice the weather patterns down there in the Texas version of “God’s country” and have been concerned about the mixed blessing of all that rain. We join you in praying for the balance you and the Cross-Dubya operation needs and join our faith with yours that God will prove His faithfulness to you once again. Meanwhile, we rejoice in many other ways God chooses to reveal Himself through you. The weight of whatever load we might be carrying doesn’t change when your messages arrive up here, but they always feel lighter.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      You’re late?! LOL I’m two weeks getting to respond to folks my friend. I thank you and each of our commenters for your patience with me this year. Lots of doctors, challenges, and with a, I pray, short dry spell, there’s been a ton of projects to get done around the Cross-Dubya. Mr. John and I have been dragging ourselves in late every evening and going right to bed after supper and cleaning up. Often, we’ll have supper and go back to finish up one or two more things. It’ll sure be nice to have an easy week at the writer’s conference. Only 80 waking hours in five days will be a break. I laughed all through your comments, but then at the end, as you so often do, you delivered an insightful lesson that we can all learn and grow from. “Help us two old fellas to keep doing for Your glory, Lord.”

  8. Edwina Cowgill

    Excellent post! Isaiah 40:31 is my favorite verse. One translation is “But they that hope in the Lord…” Hope is an acronym for Heart of Peace [and] Expectation. When I think of that acronym, I am reminded that there is even purpose in the waiting.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      One of mine also Ms. Edwina. Am so pleased that you enjoyed the post ma’am. I love that acronym ma’am; am going to save that for the next time I want to get impatient and try to get ahead of God.

  9. I wrote a blog a few years ago entitled How the Farmer Waits. It was based on James 5:7 where we see the farmer waiting on the Lord, confident the land will yield its crop and the rains will come. The farmer wasn’t idle in his waiting. As you mentioned here, we do.

    The verses in Habakkuk 3:17 also come to mind:
    “Though the fig tree doesn’t bud and there are no grapes on the vines. Thought the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice (verb) in the Lord, I will be joyful (adjective) in God my Savior.”

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Yes! Both are verses that are close to a farmer or rancher’s heart. I’m going to have to hunt that post down Ms. Mary and I’m certain I’d enjoy it ma’am. Boy, could I write a book on that title. LOL Thank you so much for sharing ma’am.

  10. Waiting is hard. Not worrying about all that needs to be done in a timely manner is even harder. I find myself using the same strategies as you, my friend, keeping busy with other related tasks that need to be done as we wait for weather or other factors beyond our control that delay any action on our part. You’ve given us an inspiring example of how to worship while we wait–be in God’s Word to seek guidance, pray for His ongoing care and grace, ask for His guidance as to how we can prepare while we wait, and ablove all, trust in Him. Thank you for sharing a blessing today, J.D.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      It sure is Ms. Katherine, but not worrying can be a sign of our spiritual maturity. In my case, it reminds me that I still have lots of spiritual growth to go. Thank you for adding to our conversation ma’am. When we’re waiting, it’s a great time to spend more time with God.

  11. Yvonne Morgan

    I can so relate to the struggles of waiting in the Lord so your words brought me lots of encouragement. I struggle with waiting but I know God’s plans are so much better. I will be using some of your suggestions to help me “do” in this period. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at the conference.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Yes ma’am. Waiting does not mean a time of inactivity, but reprioritization. There’s always something we can do for the Lord, isn’t there? I too can’t wait to meet you, and hopefully your husband Bill, at Blue Ridge. What a blessing that is going to be ma’am. See you there!

  12. What a powerful reminder to those of us who wait. And isn’t that all of us? But we can’t merely wait, we must “do” too. Your list is helpful and reminds me to keep moving, to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Amen Ms. Candyce. Let us not weary indeed my friend. And isn’t it wonderful to know that when we do get weary, and that too happens to us all, we can find rest in Him? God’s blessings gentle friend.

  13. J.D., enjoyed yet another wonderful post by you. And while you have the exact opposite of your issues last year with no rain, too much rain also causes problems for a ranch. I like the concept of “we do” and how waiting on God is not about doing nothing. I’m learning God’s timing really is perfect and His plan is always for my good and His glory. So we pray on about your ranch and ask the Lord to work behind the scenes as you continue your work.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thank you Ms. Karen. It’s funny, but a month ago I was praying for a few weeks without rain so I could get the fields plowed, planted, the garden in, and many other outside projects that we just couldn’t do in the rain and subsequent mud. Of course, now that we’ve accomplished that long list of things, we’re back to praying for the rains to return. What a fickled bunch we must be in God’s eyes. I pray though, that He sees our faithfulness in the waiting and rewards us in kind. He is a faithful Lord.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      As you are mine precious friend. I think my friends here are a wonderful example of what “the body of Christ” is supposed to be. Although we have diverse gifts and some with adherence to different doctrinal things, we put it all aside and focus on what we have in common and that is our belief and faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s when we stand together and proclaim Him that the world can see how we are “set apart.” God’s blessings sweet sister-in-Christ. I’m glad that we can boost one another in His love.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      How true Ms. Mimi. It’s in the waiting that we find more time to learn those godly lessons, isn’t it? Have a blessed week my friend. Hope to see you at Blue Ridge soon.

  14. I may not be a farmer but, I am in a waiting season. They are most hard. Thank you for reminding me that “I am to move forward in what I know, and I am to leave my unknowns in His hands.” I’ll be praying for you are able to get your garden in and hay baled. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and encouragement, J.D.!

    1. J.D. Wininger

      You may not farm Ms. Joanne, but you sure do sow a lot of seeds through your ministry calling my friend. I know, because I’ve been blessed to receive many that you’ve sown into me through your blog posts and encouraging words ma’am. Hay isn’t baled yet, but I pray we get a dry window in a couple of weeks when we can get to it. Thank you so much for all your support and prayers ma’am.

  15. You give some very practical examples for what to do in the waiting, J.D. Thanks! These days, I’m trying to wait on the Lord rather than waiting on a particular outcome. It makes me happier.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thank you Ms. Annie. I have a wonderful lady in PA who has taught me a lot. I’ll be praying you through your season of wait ma’am. For me, knowing that all seasons will change, as that is an immutable constant of God’s creation, is my source of finding joy and peace in the season I’m in. God’s blessings ma’am.

  16. Waiting on the Lord is so hard, but you have certainly been putting that time to good use on your ranch! May the Lord bless you with abundant sunshine soon!

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thank you Ms. Kathy. We’ve been most blessed this year. To see a full pond, moist soil, and already seeing signs of new growth for the summer forage, we are blessed indeed. While we need both sunshine and rain to produce a harvest, I’m reminded that it’s not my job to product the harvest but God’s. My job is to sow the seeds in faith. God’s blessing sweet lady.

  17. I also have many waiting seasons. Some have been short, others long, and still am waiting almost thirty years for another. Like you, I have learned patience from James 5, hope from Habbakuk 3, and trust from Psalm 27. Brother, I have a strong feeling in my spirit that your prayers will soon be answered. I admire your preparation in the meantime–the very same thing I also do with my time as I wait. Prayers and Blessings!

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thank you Ms. Karen. As you wait sweet sister-in-Christ, know that we lift you in prayer daily that your wait will soon be over. Patience, hope, and trust. Sounds like a formula for a strong faith to me. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am.

  18. I love this attitude J.D. How do we wait? We do. We see the delay as an opportunity to do things we don’t normally have time for – like maintenance, chickens, conference prep, etc. PERFECT. I wish I had a little more time for conference prep myself.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thank you Ms. Cathy. Am so please that you enjoyed ma’am. I’m less than two days from the conference and feel like I’ll never get done all I want to do beforehand. God will multiply the time I have as I continue to “Do” His will. See you soon my friend.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thank you Ms. Debbie. I’m certain that we all have different stressors, pressure-building periods of wait, and seasons of refreshment ma’am, but farming and ranching has sure taught me a great many more lessons of faith. God’s blessings sweet girl.

  19. I love the statement you made: “What I’ve learned through the years is that waiting on God is much less about what He’s doing and more about what we’re doing.” I have learned that hard lesson as well. Waiting is not passive; it is indeed active. And I admire how you have turned it into alternative energy! The fact that you had a plan is perfect. Such a great lesson to let no time be wasted. (See, I finally got around to responding. Glad you weren’t waiting!)

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