Although…. my Maiden name is Farmer…..I wasn’t actually raised a “farm” girl…. but I wasn’t a “town” girl either…. and most certainly not a “city” girl. I was just a girl… raised out in the country! We had dogs… we had cats… and we did have some chickens …. which actually would just roam around in the yard…. mainly for decoration really. Cows…Pigs…. horses…. nope…none of those. We had a riding lawnmower and a tiller… but no tractors or combines. We had a garden…. but no acres and acres of crops. So… the “Farmer” name was just that… a name.
Oh … I’m sure it had to have had its origins somewhere from generations before. In fact …I saw evidence of that…. just a few generations back with my Grandpa Farmer. He was actually a little more of a “farmer” than us because he had dogs… cats…and chickens…. and his chickens actually produced eggs my Grandma Farmer would retrieve from the hen house to be consumed by us in some great recipe or simply for breakfast.
Although they didn’t have pigs …. they did have Cows. Those cows … he would milk. Some by hand… some by machine! I remember how it seemed they knew exactly when it was milking time, because they would all mosey up to the barn and …. just line up …. waiting for their turn to come in to the stall. Grandpa placed some feed in the trough in front of them and then locked them in. They ate.. while he milked. A simple exchange …..a trust that had been developed over the years…. a give and take. After one bucket would fill… he would pour the fresh warm milk into the tall milk containers and then roll them out to the milk truck that would come and pick them up from him to do what ever they did to them to make them store ready.
Yes indeed… that is about as close to a real “farmer” as I got.
During the Summer….each of us grand kids would usually get to spend a week of our Summer break out in the country with my Grandma and Grandpa Farmer. We would spend our days climbing the mimosa tree…. playing croquet… helping with the garden and what ever else came up. I remember one summer going with them to the old Hunter place to “check the fence row” where the cows were. We would have to get out and walk where we couldn’t get close enough with the truck to see. Grandpa wanted to make sure those electric fences were working properly and those barbed wire fences were taut, with no gaps or broken places, making sure that what was on this side of the fence … stayed… on this side of the fence… and what was on the other side of the fence… stayed… on the other side of the fence.
Why was that important?
What was on “this” side of the fence was his property…. his cattle… his investment…. his livelihood. What was on “that” side belonged to someone else….their property. Along with keeping property lines separated… there was also the risk of predators coming in to kill his cattle, so by having either an electric fence or a barbed wire fence running around the property, there was less chance of loss.
Funny how a simple fence could keep those big cows from going to the other side. I never was brave enough… or stupid enough…. to try to touch an electric fence. I don’t like pain…. and why would I want to touch something I know would cause me hurt…. big or small… it wasn’t worth it to me.
The barbed wire fences however…. have gotten me a time or two. When we would go down by the pond, there was a barbed wire fence we would have to get over in order to get to it. There really isn’t an easy way to do that. Trying to simply climb over it was a challenge. They aren’t built for weight on top and so they were very wobbly and just high enough not to straddle with ease. You could try to find a support pole close enough and big enough to use to get you high enough to “clear” the barbs which made it a bit easier….. or if you tried to squeeze through them you really needed help from someone else who could try to pull the layers apart far enough so as not to get you….. or your clothes… caught on them. Very rarely did we come out of those adventures completely unscathed.
I often hear people refer to some Christians as being “fence sitters” when they don’t want to commit wholly to their Christian walk. They love God… go to church and are involved with helping where ever they can…. but… they still want to run with the “world” too. You know… those “little” sins.. that well…. EVERYONE is doing or that are no big deal really…. because… well…..Jesus loves me…. and His Grace covers me…. I am … after all… human. By sitting on that fence, it gives them the ability to jump from one side to the other when ever the situation is convenient or advantageous to them. They live their day to day lives without total commitment to either side.
I’m not sure the picture you have in your mind when someone talks about the fence sitter… but I have always pictured that fence as a nice, wooden fence that is easy to climb and wide enough to sit on comfortably. I also don’t picture it very high so in case they are on the “wrong” side of the fence and need to scurry back over to the “right” side of the fence…. they would be able to almost hurdle it before trouble got too close or they got caught. The perfect plan…. it seems… really….everyone does it so what harm can it do?
One day as I was listening to someone talk about a fence sitter… I felt like God say…. ‘you know that fence you see in your mind…. its all wrong! Instead of a pretty wooden fence to sit on…. it is actually a barbed wire fence’!
Wow… well that painted a very vivid but very different picture in my mind. Barbed wire? You can’t “sit” on a barbed wire fence!!
That means you have to always be on one side of the fence or the other… no matter how close you hug the fence… you are either on one side or the other….no in between! It is always a conscious decision on which side of the fence you are on.
Now…. think about jumping that fence….the getting over…. under…. or through “that” fence. On a wooden fence there wasn’t much risk of hurting yourself outside of a few bumps or bruises, but on a barbed wire fence… you will more than likely get snagged…. scratched…. poked… scarred…… and bruised and …. you will bleed. The more times you jump that fence… the more wounds you get, and if you find yourself having to jump back to the other side quicker….and more often…the less cautious you becoming and the deeper the wounds…and those wounds don’t have time to heal in between. In other words… every time you jump….you leave part of you on the fence and it leaves a mark on you! It definitely costs you more than you may think.
What happens while you are on the “wrong” side of the fence? Besides the obvious of being out of the Will of God…..I believe the ultimate reason Satan wants you to keep coming over to “his side” of the fence is to lure you further and further away from the fence. Each visit to the other side of the fence… makes you more and more at ease with the surroundings. You find yourself moving farther and farther from the fence. Each step you take further from the fence…makes it harder to get back to the other side. Eventually…. if you get far enough away… you will lose sight of the fence all together and will not even know which way is back.
No harm though…. right?
That will never happen to me!
God said He will never leave me……
Is there a chance that YOU will leave HIM???
Scripture tells us in 1 Timothy 4:1 AMP
But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach……
Matthew 24:10 And MANY will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.
Revelation 3:15-16 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
If you cant commit to one side of the other… wouldn’t you say that fits?
One last one:
Deuteronomy 30:15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.
19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Time to make a choice… here or there… this side or that side… North or South… cold or hot….God or Satan!
It’s your choice… Choose wisely!
You can’t sit on a Barbed Wire Fence!!