SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
MY ROW TO HOE
(Gal 6:5) For each one shall bear his own load.
Every farmer has his own land to tend, His field to plow and his row to hoe. It’s hard work just like the Bible says: (2 Tim 2:6) The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. And nobody else can do it for him. You see him working from sunup to sundown. He’ll hire a farmhand when he must but most of the time you see him all by himself doing a multitude of tasks. He’s not asking for any help. Neither is he intruding on another farmer’s property. He’s minding his own business. You could say he has his own row to hoe.
That’s the way it is in the Christian life. Each one of us is unique and we have our own life to live and nobody can live it for us. Who we are, our makeup, our history, and our own set of circumstances goes into our personal distinctiveness. We have Christ in common but our place in life will vary from person to person. With this in mind then we are like the farmer who has his own row to hoe. It’s a daily challenge and sometimes you think you’re alone but then you find out you are just like the other believer who is farming in the plot next to you.
One day I arrived at church on a Sunday morning being fatigued from a challenging and arduous week. I willed myself out of the car and lumbered across the parking lot and up the steps to the front door of the Chapel. At the same time another brother was getting out of his car and limping his way in my direction. I asked him how he was doing and he groaned and said how tough a week it had been. I just burst out laughing because we were like farmers who just finished a hard row of hoeing and met at the fence-line and ended up comparing stories. Well, we found our way into the service together and as always received the inspiration we needed keep at it in the Christian life.
Each Christian must bear his own load. We can encourage each other but in reality we’ve got to get back out there in life and serve the Lord with what He’s called us to do. We’ve got to put our hand to the plow (Luke 9:62) with the hope that good will always come from our daily walk and work for Christ (1 Cor 9:10). We must be patient for the precious fruit of the earth (James 5:7) and cheer our hearts with the fact that we will reap in due season if we do not give up (Gal 6:9). One of these days we will be with Jesus, and like Elisha will burn our farmer’s equipment to follow and serve the Lord in His field forever (1 Kings 19:19-21).
Let’s give up the silly notion that we need more help in the plot we are to tend. Let’s be like that hard working apostle Paul who said: (Phil 4:13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Let’s trust the Lord for daily strength (Deu 33:25) because a harvest is coming and we want to be a part of it. And let’s teach our sons and daughters that hard work is really a gift from God with much reward! (Zech 13:5) But he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.’