Winter Wheat: Part 2

While I was immersed in last month’s #31Days of Listening
with Chronic Illness,
you may remember the two words that my friend
shared with me:
Winter Wheat,
and the post I wrote about it here. 
There were notes I had taken then,
while I researched,
that my heart tucked away
to be held in a silent hug
because they felt too personal.
 But then that same friend called me just tonight
to say he was surprised to 
find out that one of our favorite singers
had written a song with those very words
contained within the chorus.
Are the words “listen” still on my horizon?
I would hope that by now my heart has learned 
a little more about paying attention!
So I searched out my tucked-away notes 
and found these words saved
from Wikipedia on Winter Wheat farming:
“Winter wheat production quickly spread throughout the Great Plains, and was, as it still is, usually grown using the techniques of dryland farming.

“The nature of dryland farming makes it particularly susceptible to erosion, especially wind erosion. Since healthy topsoil is critical to sustainable dryland agriculture, its preservation is generally considered the most important long-term goal of a dryland farming operation. Erosion control techniques such as windbreaks, reduced tillage or no-till, spreading straw (or other mulch on particularly susceptible ground), and strip farming are used to minimize topsoil loss.” 

And more about Dryland Farming from this article in

(these farmers) “continue to wring profits from their yields through the practice of extremely efficient farming, using no-tillage methods to preserve moisture and soil, while leaving at least half the ground fallow at any given time.” 

Can you hear the words that jumped out at me?
Each of those words speak to a process that has been 
given extra care,
perhaps even labeled
The Master Gardener is not subjecting
those little green shoots
to the harshness of winter
before He has made sure
that the proper
provisions and tender care
have been made.

  I thought I had listened to all of Rich Mullin’s songs,
but I had missed this one,
the one that God had hugged close to His heart
until just the right moment:

And the moon is a sliver of silver
Like a shaving that fell on the floor of a Carpenter’s shop
And every house must have it’s builder
And I awoke in the house of God
Where the windows are mornings and evenings
Stretched from the sun
Across the sky north to south
And on my way to early meeting
I heard the rocks crying out
I heard the rocks crying out 

 Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise 

 And the wrens have returned and they’re nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again
And the streams are all swollen with winter
Winter unfrozen and free to run away now
And I’m amazed when I remember
Who it was that built this house
And with the rocks I cry out 

 Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise.”
–Rich Mullins, “The Color Green

My heart must stop and Praise Him 
for all of His tenderness
that He works 
over this quivering and small
that is held within my heart.

He knows what He is doing, my friend.
We may not even realize it,
but He has already made
for every step that has been needed
before the winter winds will blow.  

“Listen and hear my voice;
    pay attention and hear what I say.
When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?
    Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil? 
 When he has leveled the surface,
    does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,
    barley in its plot,
    and spelt in its field? 
 His God instructs him
    and teaches him the right way.”

I am linking this week over at:

19 thoughts on “Winter Wheat: Part 2

  1. Hi Susan, I'm glad to be your neighbor at Meg's! Yes, I love Tammy's writing! In fact her words were a huge comfort to me last spring, when I stumbled upon her previous year's #Write31Days series during many long nights of sleeplessness. God is so good to bring encouragement to us!


  2. Hi Bettie,
    This is beautiful! You've gathered up all of the lovely gardening images and buried them deep in our hearts when you said that God — the master gardener — knows exactly what he is doing. We may not see it (it's hidden in the dark places until God brings it to bloom) and we may not realize he is working, but he is bringing all things together for our good. And I'm so grateful that beautiful things emerge over time with God's cultivation — this I know! xoxo


  3. Oh Bettie, this is so beautiful and comforting. The Master Gardener will not subject us to the harshness of winter without providing for us with His tender loving care. So hope-filled, isn't it? I'm so grateful God revealed this to you in a deeper way and that you share this with us. Thank you so much! Blessings of His tender provision and hugs!


  4. Hi Valerie,
    Isn't our God so sweet to give us such beautiful pictures in this world where He's placed us? I think He knew that we would need those pictures to understand the way that He works in our hearts too! And yes, I'm also so grateful that we can look forward to those beautiful things that He will help to emerge in His time! Thank you for your encouraging words! xoxo


  5. Hi Trudy, Oh yes, I'm so thankful that my friend called and shared that song with me, and then God nudged me to look deeper at those notes that I had kept tucked away. Only God could direct our steps in such a way! He surely knows how to bring His comfort to us at just the right moment. Thank you for sharing in His Blessings with me, my friend! Hugs!


  6. Bettie, I'm a fan of Rich Mullins and I thought I'd heard all his songs, but this was new to me, too! And your post is comforting and encouraging as usual. 🙂 Blessings to you, dear sister! xo Thank you for these words…
    “We may not even realize it,
    but He has already made
    for every step that has been needed
    before the winter winds will blow.”


  7. Dear Gayl,
    Yes, isn't it such a treasure to find a hidden song that we were unaware of? Did you see the video of his life, called “Ragamuffin” that is on Netflix? We were so moved by that story as well! I am thankful you were encouraged here my friend! Hugs and Blessings!


  8. I am glad to find another lover of Rich Mullins' music. God has used it so often in my life. I mentioned to Gayl about the video on Netflix about his life called, “Ragamuffin.” If you haven't seen it, it's worth looking into! Thanks for stopping by, Lisa! –Blessings to you!


  9. Such hopeful and comforting words, Bettie! They wrapped round me like a warm duvet on a cold winter's day. These ones especially:
    “He has already made
    for every step that has been needed
    before the winter winds will blow”
    How reassuring it is to know our Master Gardener has the ground prepared, ensures the right seed is sown when it needs to be and makes room for fallow seasons in the eventual harvest He is planning to bring about in our lives. Thank you for so much for this encouraging word! It lifted my heart to read it. Blessings and hugs! xo


  10. Dear Joy, I am glad you were encouraged here, my friend. I find it so interesting that the farmer knows that some ground must be left fallow in order to help that “eventual harvest” that you spoke of. And yet, I find myself being so worried and resistant when a fallow time is called for in my own life. Oh, to trust our Master even more! You are an encouragement to me! Blessings and Hugs to you too! xo


  11. The lyrics to this song are so gorgeous and flow without effort. I love learning along with you about this winter wheat. It is something I never would have thought of to learn about. I am so grateful for you, sweet friend.


  12. Hi Meg,
    Yes, I think Rich Mullins' music has a timeless quality to it that can keep touching us through many different seasons. And, I have also been surprised at the way that God uses this “stuff of earth” (I think that's from another song) to teach us more about Himself! Thank you for your encouragement, my friend! –Blessings and Hugs!


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