2 Corinthians 9:10 – This generous God who supplies abundant seed for the farmer, which becomes bread for our meals, is even more extravagant toward you. First, he supplies every need, plus more. Then he multiplies the seed as you sow it, so that the harvest of your generosity will grow.

Gratitude 678

How does your day begin? What do you FIRST think about in the morning?

Here’s how my day goes (or some version of it):

  • Pray a short prayer in bed before me feet hit in the ground.
  • Make coffee.
  • Begin to think about what I may or may not eat ALL. DAY. LONG.

It is amazing how much thought process I put into food. Seriously. My brain does this complicated gymnastics-style contemplation to justify/not justify what I can, should or should not eat. It begins shortly after I get up and continues until I crawl into bed.

For most of us, we have had very few times in our lives when food scarcity was a challenge. While my parents struggled to make ends meet while I was growing up, we always had a garden and meat from the animals we raised. The closest I personally ever came to feeling like I might not have enough food was when I lived overseas as a missionary. The situation arose because my roommate and fellow teacher and I were not paid regularly by the university where we taught. We prayed that the university would pay us. Instead, a wonderful American family made sure food wasn’t really an issue when they gave us a huge box of food. Our prayer was answered … just not how we expected it to be.

We all need food. It’s as basic as air and water for humans to live. While we can get by longer without food than air and water, it’s right at the top of the necessity list. Most Americans give little thought to the super reliable food source we take for granted. If we need something from the grocery store, we simply go there or order it online and have it delivered to our door. Yes, we have experienced some slight disruptions in food sourcing since the pandemic began. It amazes me how easily we can get upset because the particular brand or specific style of food that we prefer is not readily available sometimes. In many areas of the world, the folks are simply thrilled that there is something, anything, to eat and/or buy.

For decades, Americans have enjoyed a cheap food policy. We spend a lower percentage of our average income on food than most of the rest of the world. When food prices increase, we get disturbed and upset and fail to acknowledge that some parts of the world spend about 50% of their disposable income feeding their families.

Thankfully, for those families who struggle with food insecurity, many communities have available assistance. Food pantries, cost-share programs, free and reduced school meals and weekend food programs are available. We take Meals on Wheels, meal sites and similar programs for granted. While some of these groups and organizations have struggled in the last number of months, some people have worked very hard to keep these organizations going.  

Today is National Farmers Day. A day for us to remember the folks who provide the food we so often take for granted. We are talking about being thankful for the folks who grow the seed, plant and harvest the seed, and design programs to abate harmful things for affecting the crop. It’s being appreciative of the various animals and other protein sources available to us. It is a day to say “thank you” to all those people who are at the very beginning of the food chain. Many of these people grow food because they seriously want to feed the world. For many ranchers and farmers, it’s not a job; it’s a lifestyle. And one they take very seriously.

Like so many other aspects of our American culture, farming has changed over the years. Yes, there are very large corporations that grow food. But there are tons and tons of family-run and operated farms that are committed to making sure Americans and much of the rest of the world has food to eat. They produce food often because they are passionate about this. Today’s food producers are more than farmers. They are scientists, horticulturists, experts on soil and seeds and weeds, nutritionists and environmentalists. They care for land and animals and water and soil. They are required to have a tremendous amount of trust in something they have absolutely no control over: the weather.  

Why do they do this? Because we all need food. They are committed to making sure we have safe and reliable food sources in this country.

I have been many things in this life: a pastor, musician, spouse, sibling, employee, cook, speaker, writer, taxi driver, exerciser, reader and a whole bunch of other things. One of the first “titles” I ever remember having was that of being a farm gal. Growing up on a farm and being involved in food production in a variety of ways has highly defined who I am as a person today. This is something I never underestimate or take for granted.

When I was a young farm gal, most people knew someone that had worked on a farm. Today, it is a different situation. With fewer and fewer people involved in production agriculture, our connections to those who grow are food are not as common. When we are more disconnected from this in our lives, we lose value and appreciation for what is required to grow the food that is so readily available to us.

On this National Farmers Day, it’s a chance for all of us who consume food to simply say “thank you.” Know someone who contributes to providing the rest of us food? Please tell them “thank you.” Take a visit to a locally grown or raised food market and patronize those who are committed to having local food available for you and me. At bare minimum, please acknowledge today as National Farmers Day and express your gratitude for those who make sure the rest of us can have full bellies every day.

Lately, I have read a few books in times when many Americans did not have enough food. Yes, there are people who struggle with this today. These stories were based during another time frame when food scarcity was a real issue. I have been reminded once again how easy it is for me to open our refrigerator or pantry and have multiple options of what to eat. I can open our freezer and choose between different kinds of meat and veggies for our next meal. I have canned goods that came out of our garden ready to be used. And if there is something I want but do not have, there’s a grocery store right down the road.

It is no mystery why Jesus used so many agricultural-based concepts as part of the many parables and teachings he used. A huge percentage of the population in his day were farmers. They had animals and tended fields and planted seeds and harvested olives and grapes which were then turned into oil and wine. People knew exactly what Jesus was talking about when he described the different types of soil available. They watched the figs mature on the trees and churned milk into butter. They knew how to bake bread over an open fire and how to prepare the various aspects of the meals that where so important to their culture, like a Seder Meal.

We have a very generous God who wants us to have the very basic of necessities, like food. God works through farmers and ranchers to provide us with a vast variety of foodstuffs.

I pray that every day, we can be thankful for the food we have to eat. That we will appreciate the people who make sure we have safe and abundant food sources. May we appreciate all those stories in which Jesus connected faith to one of the most basic needs for all of us: being farmers and growing food.

Thank you to all who keep my belly filled. I appreciate you all.  

For readily available food and appreciation for those who make sure we have food, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – Thank you for the consistent and reliable food we have available to us. Thank you to those who are involved in making sure food is always available to us. We pray for those who struggle with food insecurity and pray that they encounter regular food sources in their lives. Amen.

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