I made a terrible mistake last night. I savored my last cup of coffee at 8 pm before beginning a cleanse. The reasoning was good, one it was my last chance at caffeine for the next several weeks, and two, I was preparing to teach a live mentoring session and I was dragging butt. I needed a little perk, but that perk lasted well beyond teaching time. So I went to bed late, still not the least bit sleepy, and started watching a random documentary on Hulu.
I’m a documentary junkie. I love the real life stories because they always relate to our real life stories in some way. Well, this particular documentary had me screaming at the TV, “just give up already, this is never going to work” and it left we awake for several more hours through the wee hours of the morning reflecting on how God works in those mysterious, mind-blowing ways.
The documentary is called “The Biggest Little Farm”. When I tell you you need to watch it, I mean it. Watch it. Watch this ridiculous dream of a husband and wife unfold in the midst of continual struggle and battle. Just watch how absurd it was for them to continue. Watch how one thing after another worked against them, then God revealed how it could work for them … and it would happen naturally.
By God’s great natural design, the same things that were killing their progress were in turn used to grow their success. You should write that down and claim it as yours. By God’s great natural design, the same things that are killing your progress will be used to grow your success.
Snail infestation, major problem. Nobody wants hundreds of thousands of big, ooey gooey snails infesting their fruit trees. But in God’s great design, that snail infestation becomes a major solution for something else. Coyotes, major problem. Every morning they would wake up to the destruction of the coyotes on their farm. Hundreds of their animals slaughtered. No electric fences, no security cameras, no firepower could eliminate the affect of their late night hunts. But wouldn’t you know, in God’s great design, hungry hunting coyotes becomes a major solution for something else.
Honestly, I would have seen each of these problems as the nail in the coffin that killed the dream. I would have given up. Again, I’m yelling at the TV, “people, this isn’t going to work.” Now, I speak from a little experience. Our family got the bright idea we would become farmers back in 2015. We found a 200 acre hunting ranch in Arkansas on Airbnb, contacted the owner, and signed a 1 year lease. Yes, for real, we did that. We moved our 3 teens to the middle of nowhere on the beautiful Kings River where we were surrounded by fertile grounds just waiting for us to grow something.
When a friend lovingly mailed us a dozen 3 day old baby chicks, the decision was easy, we would start with growing chickens. Oh it was real fun for a few weeks. We gave them cute chicken names like Teriyaki, Strips, Fingers, Buffalo and Popcorn. (get it?) I transformed the junkiest old truckbed trailer into the cutest turquoise chicken coop you’ve ever seen, complete with a window box and flowers. But, between the coyotes, owls, and a stray dog or 2, our chickens never grew to produce a single egg. We were out of farming just as quickly as we were in, and after a year on the ranch we decided we were better suited for other adventures.
So, last night watching this documentary of this ridiculous farm in the makings, I was screaming at my TV with personal experience. THIS ISN’T GOING TO WORK! But I was wrong. Ridiculously wrong. Their farm worked beyond any imagination of working, and it worked naturally within God’s great design. Enemies became allies. Predators became protectors. Problems became solutions. And little things made big differences.
At the very end of the documentary, the farmer says one sentence that left me reeling. He said “we were never alone, not for a second.”
Woah. In their struggles against snail infestations and coyote slaughters, an outcast rooster and a depressed pig, pesky gophers and hungry owls, there was something so much greater at work. Always at work. They were NEVER ALONE, not for a second. And things were naturally working together in greater ways than they could imagine.
And this is why I come to you with a tiny handful of hours of sleep. Because that single thought kept me up all night, wondering how you might feel alone in your struggles, but behind the scenes of your life is a God who is at work to make things naturally come together.
Now maybe if I knew your circumstances I would be screaming, “just give up already, this is never going to work.” And maybe I would be screaming from some personal experience of failure like our own time on the farm. But maybe I’m wrong! Maybe I’m wrong to tell you this isn’t going to work, and maybe you’re wrong to believe it’s never going to work. Maybe it’s totally going to work, and it’s going to work naturally with the dynamics already at play, just with a shift of perspective.
On The Biggest Little Farm, they had a hundred ducks living in a pond that were killing all the fish with their excessive amounts of poop. They also had snails that were infesting their fruit trees. Both problems they didn’t see coming and didn’t have a solution for. But just because you don’t have a solution for it doesn’t mean God doesn’t already have it naturally worked out. Guess what ducks LOVE to eat … they love to eat snails. All they had to do was let the ducks loose in the orchards and both problems were solved. The pond became healthy and full of life again in the absence of the duck poop, and the orchards thrived when the ducks ate all the snails and their poop became fertilizer on the ground for new, abundant growth.
Two problems become a solution. That’s God math right there.
And God math doesn’t just apply to farms in trouble, it applies to marriages in trouble. It applies to families under attack. It applies to businesses going under. It applies to dreams sinking in more breakdowns than breakthroughs. Lord, we need you to take these problems and reveal to us how they will work together for a greater solution.
Can you pray that kind of prayer? I mean is it okay to ask God to do that level of work in your crapfest of a situation? I mean why not?!!!
Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
Yes, this is the God we pray to. This is the God at work behind the scenes in our lives. This God who is able to do immeasurably MORE than we could ever ask or imagine. Our God can take two problems and create a solution, and he can do it so naturally it seems ridiculous. It’s simply a matter of moving the ducks from the pond to the orchard.
That wasn’t magical or mysterious. That was a farmer who stopped and looked at the situation and used the mind God had given him to see things with a different perspective. Understand, this is exactly how God’s power works within us.
Lord, unleash your power within us to see our problems with a different perspective. Strengthen us to not give up, but to continue on with ridiculous dreams you have planted within our hearts and minds.
You are never alone in this, no not one time. Never has God said, “this is ridiculous and beyond my reach.” Never has he said, “this is a problem I can’t solve.” And never has he said, “your dream was never important enough for me to show up for.” No matter what others may say from their personal disappointment and experience, know that doesn’t have to be your story.
I felt so bad for yelling at my TV and trying to convince these young, inexperienced farmers to stop being so ridiculous with their absurdly outrageous, over-the-top fantasy of a farm that simply wasn’t working, in the end after the documentary showed their full 8 year story, I laid awake praying for them. Praying for their animals. Praying for their problems that will become solutions. Praying for their family as they show others how to do the hard work that allows us to see all God is capable of doing.
Let me tell you something, what God is capable of doing in your life won’t just happen. It will come through YOUR HARD WORK. That’s how God’s power becomes mind-blowing. Read that scripture again, “to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” God does the impossible and mind-blowing acts THROUGH his power that works in us. And if his power is working in us, that means we are the hands and feet of that work.
We play an active role in God’s mind-blowing power in our lives. We get to work, and work hard. Work when it doesn’t seem to be working. Work when there are more setbacks than there are successes. Work when we are discouraged. Work when we are frustrated. Work when problems stack up against us, and remember God can naturally use those problems as solutions. All we need is a different perspective.
So we boldy come to the throne of the Almighty, remembering we are daughters of the King, and we lay our requests before him. Lord, here are our problems, will you naturally work them together to create a solution? Will you do your mindblowing things that are beyond anything we could ask or imagine right here in our circumstances? And God says “yes, my precious daughter, I will … now will you allow my power to work within you and get to work? Will you allow me to show you a different perspective? Will you choose to not give up this time? Will you stop telling others to give up?”
That’s a deal God!