Available at all times

Rev Knox Jones

1.1.2022 | Mission in Ireland, Farming & Rural Life

For farmers and their families, working the farm can mean unsociable hours worked in all weathers and in all seasons. If you need a vet in a crisis, as Rev Knox Jones did on one occasion, it is good to know that the ‘on call’ vet is there especially at night. While you never know what is round the corner, Knox writes that God knows all things, is in control and is always ‘on call’ to meet our needs through His son Jesus, when we've trusted in Him.

All farmers understand that their work involves committing to unsociable hours and often putting the welfare of their animals ahead of their personal plans. Emergencies on the farm often occur at the most inconvenient times – but still demand attention.

While working on the family dairy farm, I remember dealing often with cows having difficulty in calving during the night. On most occasions, I was able to resolve the problem, but on rare occasions, the assistance of the vet was required. One vet from the local practice was always on call to cover emergencies.

A welcome and positive outcome

On one particular extremely cold winter’s night, complete with snow on the ground, the ‘on call’ vet arrived. After a brief examination, it became very clear that he needed to perform a caesarean in order to deliver the calf alive and well. Thankfully, the outcome was a positive one and a healthy animal was delivered through his diligent work.

Farmers appreciate the willingness of vets to be continually available when a problem arises with their stock. They know that sometimes delay will lead to a bad outcome and therefore value the fact that their call for help will always be answered and assistance provided.

As we set out on this New Year, none of us can be certain what challenges will come our way in 2022. For farmers there are certain to be financial challenges within the industry. Escalating costs of fuel and feed are concerns. There are also many unresolved issues around trade post-Brexit. In addition, there are also the issues that affect farmers and their families like everyone else – not least this ongoing pandemic.

Yet no person should look ahead with fear and anxiety because help is always available. In the Bible, we learn that God is the one who has created all things and the one who sustains all things. We are told, “I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning…” (Isaiah 46:9-10). We may be surprised by events that will occur in the year ahead, but God knows all things and is in total control.

Jesus is there for everyone who is ‘weary and burdened’

He is always available to meet our needs. Through Jesus, God invites us to draw close, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened…” Jesus says “…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28.) He wants to guide us through the coming year and offer help, so that we can face every trial with courage and strength. God is not distant, or remote, and cares for all of us. Sadly, many do not respond to God’s offer of salvation and struggle through life without His help and presence.

A farmer who cares for his stock will welcome the assistance provided by his local vet and likewise each person should grasp the fact that they are helpless, and hopeless without God, and welcome His offer of salvation. We cannot make ourselves good enough to be acceptable to God and we cannot in our own strength cope with the challenges of life.

However, if we recognise our sinful condition and seek Jesus as our personal Saviour, God will forgive us and be at our side at all times, now and forever more. If you haven’t reached out to God and received Christ as your Saviour, you can do so today - and that would be the greatest start possible to this New Year!

Having grown up in rural Tyrone, after leaving school at the age of 16, Knox worked for over 20 years on the family dairy farm near Aughnacloy. Having felt the call of God to full-time ministry, he was ordained in 2005 serving as minister of two Presbyterian congregations for 14 years.

In 2019 he was called to be minister of Aghadowey and Crossgar Presbyterian Churches in County Londonderry.

You can look at other blogs in this series here. If you would like to talk to someone about any of the issues raised in this article, please email Rev Kenny Hanna, PCI’s Rural Chaplain at ruralchaplain@presbyterianireland.org or call him on 07938 488 372.

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