Yeah, I’ve got no idea when somebody actually made the declaration that this whole shebang is of historic proportions — I just know there’s a whole bunch of us living in uncharted territory this year.
Living in the land of the brave.
What I do know is that when the rains started in March — they didn’t stop.
It’s been the wettest 12-months in recorded history. More rain this year than in 120 years of record-keeping.
Seemed like the rains this spring might wash our farm straight away. It felt strangely biblical, standing there at the farmhouse back window watching it pour, waiting for our window of opportunity, waiting to plant a crop, waiting through 40 days and 40 nights of rain.
But the Farmer drowned all fears in faith, and he kept murmuring it while rain thrummed the roof day after day:
Nothing is lost in the waiting process —- because waiting is a growth process. Waiting is growing us.
Longing is enlarging.
And we believed:
Looking for a window of opportunity will let you see a land of opportunity.
When the sky finally relents and parts, when our window of opportunity finally cracks open, the whole countryside is this exodus of tractors and planters moving out into the land.
Dust rolls like freedom rolls.
The land breaks open to plant hope.
Families and neighbors rise to the occasion the way all people should always rise: together.
Living in the land of the hardworking brave looks like an exodus out of the land of fear to forge forward into the land of the faithful and free. It’s like the waters have parted and we’re all moving out into dry land and it’s all I can see, across fields, across the land:
Real freedom plants more of heaven here.
When God said, “Let My people go” — He didn’t mean for people to go their own way, or the easy way, or the well-travelled wide ways — but to go His way.
Real freedom brings more of the Kingdom.
Real freedom releases you into all of God.
When God beckoned us all out of a land of oppression and into a land of freedom, He said, “Let my people go — that they may worship me…” (Ex. 7:16)
So it has always been:
sings a worship anthem.
is the hallmark of Christendom, and it releases victims, and it revolutionizes systems and it destroys racism, and it ushers in more of the Kingdom.
When God meant to set the people free and plant them in the Promise Land, He said: “Let my people go — that they may serve me” (Ex. 7:16)
Real freedom means we get to freely serve.
Real freedom ultimately frees us from being self-serving to serving others and God with all of our being.
Real freedom releases us from all bondage, and bonds us to the heart of God.
Watching a whole countryside of generational farmers move out into the land, move together to work the earth and grow food and freedom and more of His glory in all this light, there is this undeniable feeling, this knowing, of being planted, rooted, in truth:
Independent of what comes, we are dependent upon God and that is the greatest freedom of all.
And the soil under us is always alive and fertile, and now is the window of time we’ve been given to plant possibility, from the farmers’ midwest fields, to the winding vineyards up the western coast, to the school playgrounds ringing with our kids’ laughter on small town back streets, to the abandoned lots made basketball courts in the downtown core where our kids’ shoot hoops till the stars come out, to every single down-trodden heart that is struggling for a place just to safely breathe.
Now is the time to sow seeds of hope across this land exactly where there seems to be none, to classrooms where teachers pray long after the last student leaves, to food banks where forgotten vets try to scrounge up their next meal, to nursing home dining rooms where the faithful giants, on whose shoulders we now stand, to the reaching hands of desperate families in a global refugee crisis of image-of-God-bearers that keeps growing — because we can never stop working for freedom in places flooded with despair, because we can never give up even when it seems like the crises won’t let up.
The greatest freedom we have across this land is the freedom to come right to God at any time.
Whether we’re standing in flooding fields or burning the midnight oil to keep things afloat, or taking another shift to pay the bills or fighting systemic injustice, fighting to keep our families together, fighting addictions, or fighting to stay awake in prayer:
No matter where we stand in this land, we’re all standing on a foundation of faith.
And yeah, there isn’t a farmer working this land who doesn’t know the adage of generations of farmers: Corn’s gotta be knee-high come first week of July.
But this time around, because of the rains that forced a late start, the corn may not be knee-high — but there are generations of men and women living their faith on their knees, generations standing neck-high in hard times but raising hands higher in praise, generations whose freedom in the land has so grown their hearts that they can’t bear anything less than sharing that freedom with those buried in hopelessness.
When the last light ignites across all this land planted even now with hope, it’s like this fireworks of faith.
Freedom can keep cracking through dark and not be stopped when the brave live a faith of epic, historic proportions.
This land can fill with glorious light that keeps on reaching right out.
How do you find the way that lets you become what you hope to be in the midst of what is?
How do you know the way forward that lets you heal, that lets you flourish, the way that takes your brokenness — and makes wholeness?
How can you afford to take any other way?