Getting up and ready for church this morning, I happened to notice the computer was turned off. That usually means one thing, that there had been a power outage of some sort in the night and considering the freezing rain and sleet outside, it seemed likely. Even though John had just cleaned up, he knew what he must do. Power outages on our farm are serious business. When the power goes out, the first thing we are all trained to do (myself included) is to open the doors to the pig buildings to let the fresh air in. Power outages mean no fans in the pig buildings and no fans for an extended period of time leads to suffocation for the pigs on a large scale.
Praise the Lord there were no problems from whatever power outage there was in the night, but when John got out there he discovered that someone had left a gate open yesterday and that there were several nursery pigs that had fallen into the pit and needed rescuing. It is a difficult, unpleasant job and no matter how many times he washes, it will be difficult to get the odor out of his skin. We probably won’t make it to worship service this morning. Hopefully, he will be done in time for us to make it to Sunday School. It has put me in mind of the following verses:
I waited patiently1 for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.2 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,3 out of the mud4 and mire;5 he set my feet6 on a rock7 and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song8 in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. (Psalm 40:1-3)
For any who may read this who are not familiar with agriculture, pig buildings are built with slotted floors, so that the waste falls through into a deep pit below the building. This waste is periodically pumped out and disposed of through a precise waste management plan so that the fumes do not overwhelm the pigs or the people who care for them. Pig poo is serious business.
And so this morning, I have a new appreciation for this picture from the psalms. I was trapped in the pit of my self-sufficiency. It was cold and slimy and most definately smelled bad. I had no power to save myself. Only the loving Shepherd (and aren’t shepherds a type of farmer?) could rescue me, taking on my slime so that I could put on His righteousness. And were this not enough, he lovingly gave me a firm place to stand and gave me a song of praise to sing.
Thank you Jesus, I love You and sing my praises to You this morning.