Charles Finney: Grandpa And The Cornfield
Friday, February 19, 2021 - by Charles Finney
Grandpa was not what you might call a religious man. He did tell me once how he thought about the hereafter. He said, “Since I have gotten older, no matter where I am - in the living room, bedroom, in the kitchen or out at the barn, I am always asking myself, 'Now, what am I here after?'" Now Grandpa was a man that believed in giving his ten percent. He actually once gave a tithe of more than ten percent. He gave of his farmland. He gave at no charge, about 10 acres, being what he said was his best cornfield, to a local congregation to build a church.
The land being creek fed, he said his harvest of corn on that part of the farm was not bad. But he hoped the Church would bring in a new crop of folks for Grandma to socialize with. And if they wanted they could use the creek for baptizing. His closest neighbor and his wife were over a mile away.
Now, Grandpa did not always go inside the church. Some of the church folks could see him sitting under a shade tree outside the building. He would be there head bowed, listening to the preacher and the choir. When I asked him why he would sit under the tree, he replied, “I don't always know God is inside the building, but out here under the tree He shows me all his wonderful works. He lets me see Him in nature. Besides the choir would sometimes sing off key and my chickens could cackle better than them, but the birds outside never missed a note. How beautiful they would sing." I remember Grandma reading me the Bible in Psalm 104:2, 'By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.' God sends special birds each Sunday just to sing for me."
"But one Sunday, there were no birds," he said, “So I decided to go inside the church. There I met a man. Not in a physical sense, but I could feel His presence inside me. Then I prayed to God, and He accepted me and I accepted Him. Job 33:26-28 says. 'He shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.'" Grandpa got baptized in the creek.
The last time my Grandpa was inside the church was at his funeral. A light shown through a window near his casket. Birds were singing. Romans 12-15 says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion."
Grandpa's last thoughts on his old cornfield were, “You know on a good year I might get 40 bushels of corn an acre over there. Just think, now they're harvesting more than 50 believers a year that come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. The preaching is not to bad and best of all the birds sing harmoniously with the choir."
Psalm 1:3 says, "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
What's planted in your cornfield?