He was a self-made man…a man who took life by the plow handles and made a living for himself when making one wasn’t easy.
Pappy—the affectionate name for my paternal grandfather, was a small farmer whose family farm consisted of little more than one hundred acres. But on that small plot of land, he raised hogs, cows, dogs, chickens, corn, cotton, soy beans…and a family.
Several sheds dotted the acreage surrounding the old farmhouse, but only one barn idled on the fallow ground. And here—on lazy summer South Carolina days, my cousin and I often whiled away our time. The barn stored the yields of whatever crops my grandfather planted that particular year, but it also housed other tantalizing elements for young country boys. Things like spiders, snakes, rats, and the occasional make-belief giant. And we satisfied ourselves by reveling in Pappy’s barn of plenty.
Jesus told a story of a farmer with a similar situation. With a harvest well beyond his imagination and his present barns filled to overflowing, he built larger ones to house his wealth. Then said, My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry! (Luke 12:19 NLT) But he forgot this life’s barns of plenty have no bearing on eternity nor can they prevent death.
There have been times when I’ve filled my barns with selfish plans, rebellious campaigns, harmful addictions, and unhealthy lifestyles. But mid-life has brought me face-to-face with reality. What matters most is not filling them with just any plenty—as my grandfather did, but with an honorable type of bounty. Filling my barns with Christ-honoring crops and attitudes is my most important field to plant.
We all have barns of some type. What are you storing in yours?
Prayer: Merciful Lord, guide us to fill our life’s barns with works of love that honor You and assist others.
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