Farmers are known for being resilient and inventive. They are used to setbacks and things going wrong but experience has taught them if they step back and take a look at things there is always a way to keep things going. It may not be pretty. It may take a pliers and some wire to hold things together but there is always a way to fix things.
I met such a farmer in one of our intensive care units. He had a lung infection that had landed him in intensive care but beyond that he had prostate cancer and now was newly diagnosed with Leukemia. He was facing some things that were going to be very difficult to fix. But what was most vexing for this farmer was his son who was mentally ill and who would not take any medications. Over the past thirty years this son had put his father through a mental and emotional wringer. Time and time again this father had talked to his son and had bailed him out of one financial mess after another. The father had done what he could to protect his assets from this son but now if he should die there would still be a mess with this son causing problems for the executor of his estate.
This man and I talked about his cancer and his son and what this man might try to fix this relationship but there didn’t seem to be any real way to fix this. As the days went by and the treatments to bring him into remission wreaked havoc on his body this strong, resilient farmer, with a heart that loved his son no matter what, gradually lost his strength and was finally placed on hospice care.
It was then as he knew he was dying that this man had to lay down the pliers and the wire and acknowledge I can’t fix this. It was then that he truly understood that what he was feeling in his heart for his son was what God felt and continues to feel for all the lost sons and daughters of this world. Only God could fix this when He said, “It is finished.” Only God’s grace could comfort and heal this man’s heart as he left this world with so many things left unfinished. This grace was his fix for what could not be fixed.