A look beyond the surface is something one chooses whether or not to take the time to do. For anyone coming to our farm right now, it is vital to the eyes of the beholder, otherwise one judges the appearance and may turn away. Last summer, we suffered a drought and our hay grew dry, brittle and sketchy. This summer proves different with lots of rain. Rain is beautiful in drought conditions and we swear to never complain again, until , it keeps coming day after day. It’s true hay needs rain to grow, but it also needs to be harvested which requires three to four days of dry weather with no rain in sight. Our hay stands tall down both sides of our driveway and our farm looks neglected. It reminds me of the childhood cartoon where the man and the dog relaxed on their front porch all summer and didn’t take care of anything and when winter came, they went hungry because of their laziness.
Our garden wasn’t planted due to the rain. It grew tall weeds until my husband decided he would bush hog them down. It is what it is. We can’t control the weather anymore than we can control our circumstances. It happens and we do the best we can do. It’s also part of life. We get slapped with something we didn’t see coming, or something we would never invite into our lives, burst through the door with a vengeance. We are left holding our attitude in one hand while trying to balance our circumstances in the other. Trying times are never easy. We do have a choice. We can look beyond the surface and find something good, something beautiful, something worth remembering, or we can bury our head in the sand and hope our trial passes quickly. Our Pastor often reminds us, we are either in a trial, headed for a trial, or just coming out of a trial. It’s a cycle in life we will all endure.
Here on the farm, beyond the hay, is a beautiful field of sunflowers. It isn’t visible until one travels beyond the hayfield. We have also had several baby goats to be born and two calves born just this week. They can’t be seen on the surface because mom hides them so well. They are there and they are a reminder of how awesome our God truly is. Even in the midst of our trials, He shows up and paints beauty all around. One day we will get a rest and our trial will subside and then the true beauty of character will show on our faces and will be revealed through our attitudes. Just remember the next time you see someone going through a trial, be bold and look beyond the surface and help them see the beauty. Choosing to be judgmental will only bring judgement back to yourself.