One of the outcomes of industrialisation and globalisation is that we tend to be sheltered from the impact of success and failure on the land.
Whether it’s a time of peak or trough, we don’t feel the full impact of the success and failure of our primary industries, because we buy most things through supermarkets with global supply chains.
Yet when we lived off the produce of the land on which we lived, we sharply felt the impact of times of abundance and of scarcity.
And this intimate connection with the land meant that we were forced to connect with nature, and behind nature, to God himself.
We were reminded of this in Elihu’s final speech to Job when he pointed to the powerful impact of the weather upon those who work the land.
For, through displays of extreme weather, God “stops all people from their labour”, “so that everyone he has made may know his work.” (Job 37:7)
Yet, even through drought and flooding rain, we know that God sustains the land. For as we read in Psalm 145:
The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. (Psalm 145:14-15)
The Lord provides! He is reliable and he delivers as he’s promised.
So, whether we get our produce from the land or from the supermarket, we can be sure that God will provide our needs. For as Jesus said:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:25-27)