Preparing for coming rains involves a lot on a farm or ranch, even when we don’t have to be useful harvesting crops. Dead limbs need to be taken down before winds allow them to fall on our animals or buildings; scattered branches should be picked up and gathered under tarps before rain or snow – and most of that finally will be sawed into four-foot rounds, split, cut up, and stored for winter heat.

And then there are periodic projects that need to be done, like power-washing the barn, which is my husband’s job today.

Reading through the Bible for references to the land, I am struck by how the fate of the land is tied to the faithfulness or disobedience of the people who live upon it. But the land is God’s creature as well, deserving much better than how much of humanity treats it! The soil itself is a living thing: softening with rain, smelling of new life in the spring, sifting through our hands for planting, yielding nutrients even to small raised-bed gardens. And the soil of the wilderness can be equally surprising, abundant, stark, or majestic without human touch, reflecting God’s glory in its own unique ways.

It’s an honor to be stewards of the land, giving and receiving from its beauty and bounty. May we care for it well, with love and respect.

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub

See also: Earth Trek Christianity and Creation