Growing up I loathed the snow. Being cold was just about the worst thing ever. I remember when I was about thirteen visiting my grandma in Idaho, I had never been so cold and wondered why anyone would ever want to live there. Funny how things change. I now live and love in Idaho. And while the snow and I have a love/hate relationship, each year I grow to love winter a little more.
Last week I looked out at the snow-covered potato and grain fields and felt a powerful metaphor turning inside my head. For the farm fields, snow is a protection. A layer of snow on winter wheat fields insulates the dormant crop. Wheat that is not protected by a blanket of snow can die—known as “winter kill”—in bitterly cold temperatures. Not only does the snow protect the land, but it fertilizes it. An old saying about late spring snowfall is that it is “poor man’s fertilizer”. Snow contains trace amounts of nitrogen from the atmosphere. The nitrogen will act as fertilizer for the next crop. The last, and maybe most important, role for snow is that it provides the moisture crops desperately need. Winter snowfall helps during the growing season because of the stored moisture that works down into the soil as the snow melts.
So we see that this time of rest brings protection and nourishment. This month as we focus on review and renew—I would add another important “R”—that is rest. As we plan out our new year may we remember that, just like a winter wheat field, we too need rest.
In the scriptures the word rest is repeated again and again: “and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him”, “may the peace of God rest upon you”, “and the blessing of the Lord shall rest upon thee and thy house”, “enter into the rest of the Lord their God”, “come unto me…and I will give you rest”.
Just as a blanket of snow protects and nourishes a field, the Lord’s rest protects and nourishes our souls. As you read the scriptures you can almost feel the blanket of protection and the warming nourishment in his words and invitation to “come unto me…and I will give you rest.”
But when can I rest? Life is so busy, so crazy, so fast! I hear you. A foolish farmer might want to continually plow and work and harvest as to “get the most” out of his field, but eventually that field would cease to bring forth anything but weeds. I think we would be wise to follow the pattern of nature:
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
— Ecclesiastes 3:1
So my challenge would be to find a place and time to rest. To be nourished and protected. This may be in prayer, meditation, scripture study, Sunday worship, temple attendance, or many other ways. And just as a well-“rested” field brings forth a bountiful crop, if we take the proper time to “rest in the Lord” we will find that our life and harvest will be more fruitful than we could have ever imagined.
Kim is the Public Relations Director for The Small Seed. She is a firm believer that living the small and simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ bring about our greatest joys and accomplishments in life. You can connect with her on Instagram @kimberlynstoddard.