Today is the first day of autumn. As we look back at the summer just past it will be largely remembered for the initial record-breaking high temperatures and again earlier this month. However, in the period in between, the weather was poor.
Lots of us find reason to complain about the weather, but none are more affected than those whose livelihoods depend on it. A review of some headlines about its effect on farmers over the summer illustrates the unpredictable nature of our climate and the concerns either prolonged spells of rain, or lack of it, generate.
To rain, or not to rain
A newspaper headline on 4 July stressed the need for rain: “Local farmers say they are praying for rain to avoid a disastrous harvest.” Fast-forward to early August, just a few weeks later, and an article on 7 August had this headline: “Unseasonably wet weather threatens UK harvest, say farmers.”
While the state of our weather might be a regular subject of conversation, it has an ongoing and significant impact upon those who farm the land. While others might pay more attention to the weather forecast when they are going on holidays, or preparing for outside activities, for farmers the weather is constantly on their minds, as it impacts planning more than anything else. For the most part the weather forecast is reasonably accurate and therefore allows farmers to plan ahead. But meteorologists don’t always get it right.
In the Bible we are not given predictions about the weather, but God does provide information about the future that is far more important - and applies to everyone. He promises that Jesus will return again.
Speaking to His disciples Jesus said, “‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also…’” (John 14:1-3).
Jesus came once to die for us on the cross and suffer the penalty of our sin, but His return will be very different. The Bible tells us Jesus will return in glory for His own. Many have speculated on the timing of Jesus’ return, but as He tells us, “‘…that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only’” (Matthew 24:36).
The key issue for each person is to recognise that Jesus will return as judge and to prepare for that event by accepting Him as Saviour.
Paying attention to the Bible’s predictions
Many farmers avidly watch the weekly weather forecast each Sunday to manage their work. If they needed dry conditions and the forecast suggested rain for later in the week, they would not delay but act with urgency.
In the spiritual realm it would be equally neglectful to ignore what the Bible says about the future. We have God’s sure and certain promises that offer hope to all people. What He says in Scripture will come to pass.
If you have never paid any attention to what the Bible teaches about the future, remember the weather is significant for our lives only in the short-term. What we do with Jesus matters eternally!
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 email@example.com or call him on 07938 488 372.