5 lessons from living off the land
Updated: Jul 6
As a child I would visit my great grandfather’s farm and while there would enjoy the self-sufficiency lifestyle. An ancient chip heater dribbled heated tank water into a worn enamel bathtub and the house was lit by sparsely arranged kerosene lanterns.
Bush tucker and home-grown vegetables were always available. Being vegetarian wasn’t an option as anything that flew or moved past the verandah ended up on the dining table. As a result I can say I’ve eaten quite a number of Australian birdlife, the impact of which had been lost on me until I studied the conservation of dwindling rainforest species at university…
But this lifestyle of self-sufficiency did teach me some valuable lessons for life.
1. We have very few needs in this life. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD”(Job 1:21).
2. God can easily provide for us. “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19). “The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish.” (Prov. 10:3).
3. We can’t be lazy. “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load” (Gal 6:4-5).
4. Living simply reduces your worries and anxieties. "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matt. 6:25-34)
5. You learn to rely on God for the seasons, crops and food for your table. “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs” (Gen. 9:3).
(All quotes are from the NKJV).