Faith and Farming a 5-Day Youversion by Caitlin Henderson

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Grief and Gratitude


The day my husband’s father died, life as he knew it vanished. I can’t imagine the sorrow and agony Jake experienced as he stepped into the role of farm owner at age eighteen, the week before harvest started. For many years, Jake was angry at God. He blamed God for taking his dad, believing Satan’s lie that God wanted to bring him pain. 


But a few years ago, Jake said to me, “Caitlin, if my dad hadn’t passed away, we probably wouldn’t be married or even know each other. We wouldn’t have our family, and I probably wouldn’t really know Jesus like I do now.” 


That’s an odd feeling, knowing that something tragic is what started the chain of events that caused your life to work out a certain way. Jake is not thankful he lost his dad, nor should he be. It still hurts, and he still grieves daily. What Jake is thankful for, though, is that God can bring something beautiful out of pain.


During planting on the farm, I love to watch the wheat kernels pour into the planter as we prepare to start the new season. The tractor pulls the planter across the ground, placing each seed just beneath the soil. I watch the kernels run through my fingers, trying to fathom how these tiny kernels, will become a field that, God willing, will yield a bountiful harvest. 


What is the first thing that has to happen to those ker­nels before they can produce a crop? They must be bro­ken. Their shells must be cracked open so new life can spring forth from that brokenness. Slowly, those plants are nourished and continue to grow. They become stron­ger and stronger, breaking through the surface of the earth—out of the darkness and into the light. 


Out of our brokenness, God will bring new life. That is why we can be thankful. He isn’t plotting the ways He can hurt us; He’s orches­trating how He will use our pain to draw us closer to Him and show His glory.


A prayer for those in the grip of grief: “God, I feel crushed. Right now it’s hard to trust that you have anything good in mind for me, but your Word says my suffering can’t compare to the joy that is coming. I ask you to prove your Word true.”