This summer my family spent every available moment at Paul's parent's farm baling hay. We did square bales (those are the rectangular ones used to decorate in the fall.) Square bales are a lot of hard work!
One day last summer, Paul and I spent an afternoon preparing the hay to be cut and baled. There was no rain in the forecast - none. But, after we had cut the equivalent to 150-200 bales of hay, the sky poured rain upon us. The rain lasted so long that the hay was all ruined. We cried, but in our anguish, we did not turn our backs on God. We kept thanking God for His goodness. We were determined NOT to forsake God, or think that He had forsaken us, just because we lost a good deal of money. To get the moldy hay out of the field, we went ahead and baled it up. We threw it in an old barn. My father in law keeps everything, and you never know when you will be desperate enough to need moldy hay. Who knows?
Fast forward 5 months. The temperature is 10 degrees and I live in a farm house with NO insulation. The wind moves under the house, through the crawl space, like it is in a hurry to be somewhere else. Our home is cold. I have never lived in a cold house before. I have never had to use every blanket in the house before, just to keep us from getting too cold. But, now I have experienced this. And, God is using it to mold me and to shape me. Praise God, that He keeps sending new trials to grow me!
After our pipes froze the other night, we decided that we just might have to spent some money to winterize this house. But, no - not yet, God had other plans. Remember that moldy hay? Paul and his dad loaded it up today and brought it over to our house. We surrounded the entire house with the ruined hay. Wow. Who would have guessed that God sent the bitter providence of ruined, moldy hay - not only to teach us then about patience and faith; but to practically help us now through this terribly rough season of our lives.
To this, and all the other incredible things I have to be thankful for - I say: Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Next time you have an episode of something that is liken to our ruined hay - remember, God may still turn that around!