Storing Food for the Winter

A wonderful holiday in South Florida ended with a 2-day drive back to Dallas. We left 78 degrees and hours later the mercury had dropped to 31. Cruising down the interstate a strange load pulled in front of us—a truck-bed carrying bales of hay. A city girl from infancy, I was surprised by how imposing a bale of hay is up-close. I began thinking … a lot of work goes into producing one bale of hay: planting, cutting, drying, rolling, binding and transporting. Who’s going to eat this hay—a bunch of cows? Yes!

Farmers plan ahead for the frigid winter when vegetation will be scarce and often buried under snow. They do whatever it takes to provide for their valuable animals.

My mind continued to wander—what else keeps you occupied when your spouse drives and you’ve had your limit of Sudoku puzzles?

I began to see a parallel in my life. God’s Word, food for my soul, must be stored up for seasons when outside forces are brutal and intake is limited. Memorizing Scripture gives me reserves for later.

Years ago when my children were small I imagined that one day I would have time to study my Bible every day. Ya, right! That day never arrived—not yet. With all of our lives so jam-packed, the holidays being one example, Bible study moves to the back burner because everything else screams with urgency. Days upon days, my Bible barely gets cracked open. But because of the habit of memorizing Scripture, it’s a very rare day when I don’t spend time in God’s Word.

Even on a crazy, activity-filled day, I still review chunks of Scripture during my morning get-ready routine, driving my car, and other mindless tasks. God’s Word goes with me and I can chew on it because it’s stored away. Memorizing Scripture feeds me and sustains me. As vital as Bible study is, the most important thing is to walk with God and commune with him throughout the day. Memorizing Scripture accomplishes this for me.

Bales of hay don’t just appear out of nowhere. Someone put in the time and effort.

When I arrived back in Dallas, I opened the mail and couldn’t believe what I saw—a note card from a dear friend, with BALES OF HAY on it. So I knew I had to share it with you.

Please add your thoughts and experiences.

10 comments to Storing Food for the Winter

  • Richie

    Bales of hay don’t just happen! How true. I watch my neighbors in the spring meticulously carve up the fields with irrigation trenches so that every drop of snow melt is dispersed evenly across the pasture. All this is done daily by hand with a shovel. Intensely laborious, it is an act that the rancher knows will produce something precious to him in the long run. That’s how I feel about scripture memory. Repeating verses over and over when they are new is like shoveling the trenches knowing that something precious is in the works. The picture of the hay bales is like the book I end up with in my heart after a spring and summer of working the crop. It doesn’t just happen, but it is a labor of love.

    • I would like everyone to know that Richie is the friend who sent me the note card with the bales of hay on it. She took the picture, made it into notecards, and added a Scripture verse on the inside. Talented gal! So many life lessons can come from observing life around us. Some days I’m oblivious and other days God opens my eyes. Love the irrigation example – perfect.

  • Chérie

    There goes that “like-minded” thing…. No coincidence there!

  • Sue Bond

    Janet, what a beautiful analogy of what God’s word in our heart takes and looks like.
    And Ritchie, a beautiful photo indeed! 🙂

    • Hi Sue, I’ll bet you’ve seen a few million bales of hay in Wyoming. We city folk miss out on a lot.

      • Sue Bond

        I live in a small town but I work 20 miles away in the middle of ranching country. So while I am memorizing scripture on my drive I’m passing fields and fields of cattle and hay. My favorite times of the year are in the spring when the calves start to arrive and the haying season. Have you ever seen or smelled a field of fresh cut hay? There are these perfectly straight rows of hay on the ground and it is so beautiful. The smell of fresh cut hay is unique and fresh and earthy and it just makes me happy. The baling process has it’s own beauty with randomly placed bales on a completely clean field. I’m not a rancher, so I’m sure I’m not using the correct terminology or descriptions. All I know is that I am thankful the ranchers around here get 2 and sometimes 3 cuttings on a field each summer. And writing this has made me thankful for the millionth time for my job and my drive and the time the Lord gives me for memorizing His word!

        • Wow, I love the way you described that. I don’t know if I’ve ever smelled fresh hay- I’m such a city dweller. Once again, a reminder that hay bales don’t just happen. Someone is putting in a lot of work to provide for valuable animals. What are we doing to provide spiritual food for ourselves?

  • Chérie

    Sue! Hey!
    Get it? Get it? Ha.
    ( I think I’m slap-happy from trying to homeschool today) I grew up with horses and know that smell. It simply has no equal. You described it perfectly.

  • Lise Anderson Brocious

    I love the analogy of chewing on Scripture that is stored up to feed and sustain you. Since beginning to memorize Scripture God often brings my verses to my mind when I am stressed or afraid and reciting my verses in my head reminds me once again to trust in God in whatever the situation may be. The Scripture that I have memorized focuses me on Jesus instead of my circumstances. What a relief and a comfort!