All my life I was taught that Canada was the second biggest landmass in the world. Part of that knowledge also included the fact that the Canadian prairies were grain baskets for Canada, and also the world, but I had never experienced it firsthand. So, several years ago, as we drove to a new home in Manitoba, we decided to go through the north of the United States and then cut through Canada. We started the drive happy and excited with the new adventure. As we drove along the landscape changed and what we saw astonished us as we saw kilometres upon kilometres of grain fields with no end in sight.
Over the next several weeks, as we traveled around these areas where we used to live, we were again astonished by the sheer size of the vast plains. To use an expression from Job, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you” (Job 42:5). The prairies of Canada are immense and not only do they provide food—we also discovered that they hold great riches in minerals and underground elements. This is a vivid example of the promises that God made so long ago to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Jacob, at the end of his life, gathered his sons together and said to them, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days” (Genesis 49:1). Within those promises, this is what was said to Joseph, from whom Canada, the United States and Great Britain are descendants: “By the God of your father who will help you, And by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers” (Genesis 49:25–26). These blessings are alive today in a wonderful and powerful way, which we can see with our own eyes if we travel to and fro on these Great Plains.
Back in the East, we had been impressed when we saw land that used tractors with double wheels on each side, but there on the prairies we were aghast by lands that use tractors with triple wheels on each side and that are nearly thirty feet high. These machines are so big that they cannot fit on roads, and they work to fill countless numbers of grain elevators and silos. God’s promises are still going forward, for the year before that one was so abundant that we even saw grain elevators that were filled to capacity and had to store grain directly on the ground. This condition overwhelmed the rail system, which had difficulty transporting the grain to the coast to be processed and shipped out. These great domains are also the home of vast cattle herds that are providing food for North America and export markets.
These promises also extend to the fact that in the last decade or so great quantities of oil and gas have been pumped from this great land, again demonstrating the power of the promises that God delivered to Joseph and his descendants.
It is truly a blessing to have been able to see with my own eyes what I was told all my life. These great lands are not ours because of our greatness but because of promises that were made to a friend of God and his descendants—Abraham. Our nations should be reminded that these promises were given because of obedience to our Creator, for if we continue to turn away from Him and forget, we will lose them.