It was the regular Wednesday night prayer meeting, if you could call it “regular” anymore. For several months the Holy Spirit had been disturbing business as usual at our church and no service was ending the way they always had. This night my husband was trying to lead the meeting while paroxysms of laughter rippled through the congregation like waves.
Suddenly, I was “hit.” Like a bubbling sensation from deep within a tide of Holy Spirit generated laughter rolled out of me-and I couldn’t stop nor did I want to. I felt like Someone was laughing inside me as though He knew a funny secret I didn’t know. Then words came as though the laughter had been a “tongue” and now the interpretation was coming.
“I’m the Happy Farmer and I’m plowing up the ground.
I’m plowing up the ground so the seeds won’t roll around...” Whereas before I rather prided myself in prophesying messages which seemed to be pregnant with deep insight and revelation, now I could only get out two sentences in between draughts of breath.
Funny, but it became a prophecy we never forgot. It rather made all the laughter and fun begin to make sense. We had been laughing for quite awhile and no one really knew why, only that it felt good and that God seemed to love it. Now a little clue was coming.
Not many months later, our worship leader, Paul Blackham, put the words to a rhythm and blues tune he composed and now we can’t get it out of our minds.
For seven years now, we’ve watched the Happy Farmer laughing as He plows a deeper furrow in hearts that were once hard and then sow seeds of intimacy, healing, faith and hunger for more. And now we’re all happy farmers, too, sowing wherever we can.
Two years ago we were on a prison outreach in a neighboring state. We happened to be eating in a restaurant decorated with country memorabilia when someone happened to look at the wall. There amid all the collection of old farm implements was an antique sign that read, “Happy Farmer Seeds and Fertilizer.” Woooooo, we all said in awe making a mental note of the latest circumstantial confirmation to what God seemed to be doing these days.
Since the outpouring began, my husband, Bill, the senior pastor of our church has often said that he believes God is sending this outpouring of love and a spirit of joy because He wants to send out a cadre of happy missionaries. Too long we have been dutifully slaving, laboring to preach a gospel of love, peace and joy that we don’t really believe. At least, we don’t act like we do.
In the Old Testament book of Ruth, we see Boaz, a type of Jesus, merry after eating and drinking, spending the night sleeping it off on the threshing floor, celebrating the harvest right along with those who were gathering it in. Maybe Jesus is laughing through us prophetically at something we don’t know about, the harvest of the lost coming in and the harvest of renewed Christians coming back to their first love passion for Him.
We’ve devoted this issue of Spread the Fire to the subject of the Party. You will read articles from people who love the party God is throwing, people like Georgian Banov, Trevor Baker, Curtis Hinds and Dave Hixson who’ve found that enjoying the party has not only been pleasurable but life changing. We invite you to settle down for an interesting read and let the Happy Farmer plow you under!
Originally Published May/June 2001 Editor Melinda Fish