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Farming Life column – Caring fathers

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family picture on the farm

Caring fathers

By Rebecca McConnell

Published in the Farming Life, Saturday 6th April 2024

My childhood is full of memories out on the farm with my dad, two brothers and sister, tending to sheep, feeding calves and gathering potatoes – in all weathers of course! One memory I have, long before the purchase of a potato harvester, was working in the field beneath my primary school, gathering potatoes on a very cold and grey November day.

Cold toes and a warm heart
I remember complaining to my dad that I couldn’t feel my feet in the wellies as I struggled to fill yet another basket of spuds. I must have aired my feelings a lot, for the next thing I knew, he lifted me up and set me onto the bonnet of our David Brown tractor that had the spinner hooked onto it. As others back-breakingly lifted the crop from the drills, dad took off my cold rubber boots, so my feet could warm on the heat of the engine, and I sat there ‘till I could feel my toes again.

In the midst of his busy day, dad listened to my woes and tried to help me as best he could. He was a thoughtful and caring father and I am grateful for memories like those to cherish, now he is no longer here. And, as I’ve discovered as I’ve grown older, not everyone gets to go with their father to their workplace – it is a privilege I’ve learned to be grateful for.

Our heavenly Father also cares for us in ways that our earthly fathers do, but infinitely greater. The creator of the universe delights in nothing more than us coming to Him with our concerns and worries, our cold feet, and our muddled minds. He is always seeking to help us by His grace and through His mercy.

In the Book of Matthew 7:9-11, Jesus spoke these words, when He was teaching a crowd of people on a mountainside, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?”

Coming to God in prayer can be done any time, any place, even in cold potato fields and when driving around the countryside in tractors. From the stresses of running a farm business, to the joy of new born animals, we can praise Him and give Him thanks as we pray.

Love lavished upon us
When we give our hearts to Jesus, and find the forgiveness for our sins that He only can give, we become Children of God, as recorded in 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are.” The word ‘lavish’ points to an abundance – not just the bare minimum.

God seeks to really lavish us with His love and care. He is never too busy to hear our requests and offers peace like no other can in this broken world. Will you come to Him today, so He can lavish His love on you as His son, or His daughter? The eternal caring Father is waiting to hear from you.

This article was written by purplerain