A nightmarish drought, horrific flooding along the Mississippi River, and a giant “derecho” that just hit the farm belt have combined to make this one of the toughest years for American farmers ever. And this comes at a particularly bad time because the stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on food distribution systems has already created periodic shortages of certain items around the nation.
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
On Monday last, an absolutely massive “derecho” roared through the Midwest. According to USA Today, the storm had winds of up to 112 miles per hour… as powerful as an inland hurricane – as it tore from eastern Nebraska across Iowa and parts of Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, including Chicago and its suburbs.
According to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, approximately 10 million acres of crops were destroyed in Iowa alone… he said, most hurricanes don’t have winds that high once they finally reach shore, and I have personally never experienced wind speeds of such magnitude. Needless to say, this very unusual storm caused immense devastation. In addition, tens of millions of bushels of grain that were stored at co-ops and on farms were damaged or destroyed as bins blew away. If about 10 million acres were flattened just in Iowa, how many more acres did this storm destroy in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois?
Sadly, this one storm is going to completely financially ruin some farmers. For example, Iowa farmer Tim Bardole is facing losses that could potentially exceed one million dollars… Corn that used to stand upright on Bardole’s farm is now laying on its side. Some stalks snapped off, others ripped out of the ground at the roots.
Bardole estimated he’ll be out $200 an acre, which is $500,000 total. Worst-case scenario, that could go up to $500 per acre. That would equate to $1.25 million. Further south, many farmers along the southern Mississippi Delta have already had their growing seasons wiped out by historic flooding for the second year in a row…
The southern Mississippi Delta is home to some of the most fertile farmland in the United States. But not a single crop of soybeans, cotton, corn, or rice has been planted at many farms in the region — one of the poorest in the country.
Surely, Christians understand what is unfolding. Pestilences and famines are part of “end times” shaking which God subjects this planet, to bring people to repentance. Christians should be on our knees praying to ensure we are in the centre of God’s will for us. It won’t be too long before we stand before God in judgement. Your assignment in the Millennial reign of Jesus on this planet will be determined by what you do with your time here on earth now. Let me plead with you to start living with an eternal focus now.