A new year dawns

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Every fortnight people from a farming background, or who have a heart for the countryside, offer a personal reflection on faith and rural life. They hope that you will be encouraged by it.

Farmers are normally forward looking people, they have to be.

This means that at this time of the year as well as all the necessary jobs that need to be done plans are being made for the coming year. Tractors and machinery are being serviced or repaired in preparation for the new season’s work and other work is being considered for when the days lengthen and the weather improves.

After all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas celebrations and the anticipation of the New Year, January and life on the farms is back into its normal winter routine.

Winter is a very busy time on any farm with the endless round of feeding or milking which has to be completed every day. Of course all these chores can be complicated by the unexpected calving or the breakdown of an essential piece of machinery, which always seems to happen when you are in a hurry, or the pressure is on.

As well as all this, if it has not begun already, the lambing season is not far away. My guess would be that for many of those reading Farming Life the welly boots have been kicked off at the backdoor and you are enjoying a well-earned cup of morning tea or maybe even your lunch.

Added to all this there is the farmer’s favourite pastime – forms - all the forms to be filled in and paperwork which has to done and kept up-to-date. With all this activity going on it is good to take time to pause and reflect on those things which are really important, not just for a time - but for eternity. Farmers and all who work hard – even ministers - can often overlook this. We get so caught up with all that has to be done, all our daily work that we forget about the Lord.

The Bible records for us the words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote to a young man called Timothy. In 2 Timothy 2:8 Paul says, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.” The encouragement here is to remember the risen exalted Jesus. To celebrate and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for us on the cross of Calvary.

We are not just to remember Jesus as we would do some great figure from the past, however. Jesus lived on this earth and died on the cross, but on the third day He rose from the dead. Jesus is alive for all eternity and we too can live with Him forever. What we must do is not just remember Jesus, but repent of our sin and trust in Him as Saviour and Lord.

Enjoy your break as you sit and read the paper before getting back to the rest of your busy day on the farm, or wherever you are at today. Take heed of the words of Paul and take them to heart – ‘Remember Jesus Christ’. Trust in the Lord and give Him thanks for all the blessings and opportunities of life, which come your way each day.

Rev David Reid is minister of Ardstraw and Douglas Presbyterian Churches in West Tyrone. He is married to Valerie and they have four children and two grandchildren. David was a full-time farmer for 18 years before being called to the Ministry.

If you would like to talk to someone about any of the issues raised in this article, please email Rev Kenny Hanna at khanna@presbyterianireland.org or call him on 028 9753 1234.