“Would Rain Ruin Our Hay?” Ensign, July 1997, 62–63
Just before dawn I sat down on the cold, hard seat of my old tractor, prepared to spend several long hours baling hay. It had been an unusually wet summer, and once again ominous black clouds blocked the rising sun. Our first and second crops of hay, which now stood in long, molding stacks of black bales, had not escaped the relentless rains. We desperately needed this third and last crop of the season to be dry, high-quality hay to feed our small dairy herd through the winter.
As the hours stretched toward noon, I noticed a wall of rain stretching along the entire southern end of our small valley, moving slowly toward our fields. A silent prayer filled my heart: Please let me finish baling before the rain comes!
I looked at the waiting hay and knew the rain was moving faster than I could bale. I continued to pray to the thump-thump of the baler as it moved down the rows of hay. My speed seemed slow compared to the quickly advancing storm. I shivered as I felt the first raindrops on my dust-covered face. I could not stop the inevitable.
Yet I knew he who had parted the Red Sea could part the clouds if it were his will. Perhaps I lacked faith. I stopped the tractor, knelt on the ground, and felt the comfort of the Holy Spirit flow through me as I prayed earnestly that I might be able to finish not only this field but also our entire crop of hay, which would take several more days. I asked that the rains might pass over our fields, and I thanked Father in Heaven for all of our blessings, including the blessing of dry hay.
As I closed my prayer and returned to the seat of the tractor, I still felt raindrops on my face. But my heart told me to trust in him and have faith. I revved up the engine and took off as fast as the bumpy field would allow. I was determined to beat the rain by sheer speed.
As the tractor bumped down the rows, a thought came to me: If you have faith, slow down. I reached for the gears to shift to a slower speed but hesitated. What difference does it make if I go fast or slow? I thought, so I remained in high gear.
Again, the thought came: If you have faith, slow down and trust the Lord. I reached for the gears, hesitated a moment, then shifted to a slower speed. As I did so, the rain stopped. I knew then that Heavenly Father had heard my humble prayer. A calmness filled my soul. I relaxed and methodically continued to bale hay while the storm moved around me. As I left the field to return home less than a mile away, I was drenched in rain pouring down around me.
The next day, a Sunday, I briefly wondered if I shouldn’t go to the fields and quickly bale more hay while it was still dry. But as I reflected on the immediate answer to prayer I had received the day before, I knew I did not need to be anxious. Instead, I honored the Sabbath day and offered up my thanks to Father in Heaven for his loving kindness. Monday morning I went out to finish baling dry hay.