The Depth of Drought

The depth of drought is hard to gauge, as it affects so many people in so many different ways. Let’s look at the grazier and his situation when it comes to drought

A farmer loves to see his animals fat and healthy, grazing in green fields of grass up to their bellies. Their fat backs which look like tables, no bones poking out, strong healthy and alert knowing all their needs are well and truly looked after. Drought changes this beautiful picture. In many cases the properties are handed down through many generations and of the person who is dealing with the drought and the thought that they may lose that property to the banks, to the creditors, in many cases is too much to handle. The mental anguish, the mental agony of them feeling they have let their family down, many generations of the family have lived on the property, and it makes them feel that they have failed in their duty as the breadwinner of a family tradition.

Of course, a drought causes havoc to the livestock trying to survive. The grazier sees the condition of his healthy livestock fade away as they run out of feed. He tries to keep a nucleus of the herd or flock hoping it will rain so he will be able to continue to breed his numbers up again at the end of the drought. He will endeavour to buy feed, hay, grain and molasses. In a drought these become very hard to find and very expensive to purchase, he will go to great lengths, to great depths of debt to keep these animals alive.

 I have heard people say, ”why doesn’t he sell them”, but in many cases they are too weak to transport and if he could get them to market they would be worth nothing.

The final straw that breaks their back is when the banks foreclose on them. This takes them to the pits of despair, they are going to lose everything. Their home, their job, the only job they have known all their life.

I have been there myself, some city office workers in a bank in Brisbane decided to foreclose on me. I know the gut wrenching feeling when this happens. They give you two weeks to pay out the debt which is near impossible to do. My wife and I talked about it and we agreed they can take everything from us, but they can’t take our faith, our love of Christ. We know Christ’s love for us is so great, is so powerful as he is there for us in every turn of our life, in every road we travel and in every decision we make. We were able to refinance with another bank which carried us through the rest of our farming life.

After 45 years of marriage my wife passed away from cancer, I had to let go as I ran my fingers through her hair. I thank God for those 45 years. I have since remarried, a relationship, which we say, was made in heaven.

Retired Farmer

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