All things were made by Him;
and without Him was not any thing made that was made
by Rev. Antony W. Ball
Harvest is obviously an appropriate time to praise God and to thank Him for all His goodness to us – and we rightly do that whenever we sing all the traditional harvest hymns, but – sadly there has to be a ‘but’ – this year it’s going to be harder than usual to sing “the valleys stand so thick with corn that even they are singing”1 because clearly they won’t be!
- * The long, hot, dry summer will result in a drastically reduced harvest for us this year.
- * Global warming predicts that such summers will occur more frequently in the future.
- * Vladimir Putin’s invasion into Ukraine has decimated that country’s grain exports.
The first of those ‘bullet-points’ – the long, hot, dry summer – can possibly be blamed on God (although climate change doesn’t help). The second – global warming – is largely down to ‘us’ and you’ll have heard about saving energy in the home, walking not driving, eating more vegetables etc. The third – Vladimir Putin – well, him changing his mind is about as likely as feeding five thousand men from only five loaves and two fishes (although that, of course, did happen).
So is there anything we can do? I’d make two suggestions:
- * Count our blessings. That may at first seem selfish, especially for those of us who are relatively ‘well-off’, but it may still surprise us to realize just how much God has done for us; and prompt us to express our thankfulness by doing things for Him and for other people.
- * Pray about it. Even as I write that I can almost hear cynics saying “Fat lot of good that’ll do”, but it’s a way of ‘tuning in’ to spiritual things, and the more in tune with God we become, the more opportunities we’re giving Him to lead us on to whatever is His will for us.
1 W. C. Dix in the hymn “To Thee, O Lord, our hearts we raise…” (CP 649)