KIRK: Ag producers repeat Jesus’ miracle dailyListening to a scripture reading at church recently reminded me how our nation’s farmers and ranchers repeat one of Jesus’ miracles every day.
By: Amy Kirk, The Daily Republic
Listening to a scripture reading at church recently reminded me how our nation’s farmers and ranchers repeat one of Jesus’ miracles every day.
Jesus had been speaking to a large crowd that had gathered to listen to him when it began to grow late in the day. The disciples told Jesus he should leave so everyone could go find food to eat. Instead, Jesus instructed the disciples to find food to feed the crowd. All they came up with were five loaves of bread and two fish.
In typical Jesus fashion, he accepted the meager amount of food as though it was no big deal, gave thanks, broke the bread, and had the disciples distribute the food to the people. He also instructed the disciples to gather all of the leftover broken pieces, which filled 12 baskets.
This story reminds me of the miracle farmers perform every day. I am constantly amazed that in today’s world, farmers produce more food using fewer resources than their ancestors did.
Not only do farmers and ranchers have to contend with increased restrictions, regulations, continuous negative press and misinformation about agriculture, there are also anti-agricultural organizations that are trying to sever the very same hands that are feeding them.
Yet in spite of such challenges, farmers and ranchers are not deterred from continuing to feed people. Similarly, Jesus was not discouraged when a measly couple of fish and few loaves of bread were brought to him to feed 5,000 people (not counting women and children). He fed everyone using what he had available.
Today there are fewer farms, ranches, farmers and ranchers, and sadly, even fewer people who are connected to a farm or ranch — the places where food is grown. Those who raise and produce food today carry the burden of supplying more food than what’s been produced in the past in order to meet the demands of our world’s growing population, and it’s done using fewer resources. I hear about so many people who are looking for ways to participate in or promote humanitarian efforts, yet farming is oftentimes disregarded as the ultimate story of humanity and hope.
God uses ordinary people — many of whom are in the form of today’s farmers and ranchers — to carry out miracles that are done in amazing ways. Regardless of the difficulties farmers and ranchers face, they still manage to find ways to continue feeding the world.
Jesus knew he had a lot of people who needed food and even though he only had very little to feed them with, he miraculously did so with five bread loaves and two fish and still had 12 baskets of food leftover. American farmers and ranchers are a modern version of the story of Jesus feeding the multitudes. Somehow, some way, farmers miraculously produce food that contributes to feeding billions of people similarly to the way Jesus did, only with less farm ground and fewer people doing the farming rather than two fish and five bread loaves.
The weight of the world’s hungry has been put on the shoulders of people who plant, grow and harvest or raise food every day. Without the contribution of American farms and ranches there isn’t enough food to pass around to help feed the 7 billion people around the globe that currently need food. American agriculture is nothing short of a humanitarian miracle.
(Read the story for yourself: Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-14.)