The Gospel in my Garden

I haven’t written anything here for a long time.  I guess it’s because I haven’t had anything I wanted to say or remember.  I hope that changes.  As our family is going through the process of sorting through my in-laws’ things, I kind of like the idea that somewhere there is a record of things that I have written that someday my children could read.

We’ve planted a fairly large garden this year and little by little we are getting better at maintaining it so that it isn’t so weedy.  We’ve planted tomatoes and beans, peppers and different kinds of cukes and squash all with an eye toward freezing or canning for this winter.  We’ve also planted carrots and beets.  Now I’ve got to be honest and admit that I didn’t want to plant carrots or beets.  They’re kind of a pain and carrots are relatively inexpensive at Aldi’s  and we’re not huge beet eaters, so why bother with the hassle?   But John really wanted to plant carrots and beets, so being the *obedient* wife that I am, we planted carrots and beets.  (Now at this point, my friends may want to check to make sure the surge protector on their computer is working in case lightning might strike and my really good friends will want to pick themselves off of the floor from laughing so hard.)

I will freely admit that not all of the plants in my garden started out life on equal footing.  The tomatoes, for example were lovingly planted in individual pots in my basement and carefully watered, spending weeks under the grow light.  When they were planted they were immediately surrounded by tiles and cages to keep the birds from eating the little plants and to give them support as they grow.  The beans are relatively easy to grow.  They are large seeds, not to tricky to sprout, they grow into easily recognizable plants.  We put up a supportive fence for the pole beans and they automatically seek it out, growing right up it without any training from me (which John and I find absolutely amazing, by the way…isn’t God so creative?)  Then there’s the carrots.  You know there’s a reason I wasn’t too wild about planting them.  The seeds are so tiny.  I cheated.  I bought the seed tape.  They take forever to come up and I can’t really weed until they do because I might pull them up.  That’s what brings us to where we are today.  I decided it was time to weed the carrots.  Now carrots really do take forever to come up, but you know what doesn’t?  Weeds.  The weeds in my carrot row came up quite nicely, in fact they were strong and thriving.  The carrots on the other hand, were very tiny and fragile.  That meant that weeding the carrots was going to be a very long and painstaking process, so that I wouldn’t accidentally pull up the carrots when I pulled the weeds.

First I had to seek them out…I mean really seek them out on my hands and knees because they were difficult to find among the thriving weeds.  When I did find them, I would carefully pull the weeds that were competing for sun, soil, and water.  The weeds weren’t crazy about being pulled, they were very comfortable right where they were.  There was an audible ripping sound as I pulled them from the earth.  Sometimes this would disturb the soil so much that it would dislodge the carrots, so I would have to carefully hold the tender carrot in one hand while pulling the weed with the other so it didn’t get hurt.  The carrots had really grown accustomed to the weeds being there.  They were using them for support, and when the weeds were gone, they kind of flopped over and wilted, so I made sure to give them a drink of restorative water.  It is not my plan for the carrots to use the weeds for support.  I have a better plan for them, one where they get all the water and soil and sunshine and grow deep roots and are productive for me.  You see that is my plan for all the vegetables in my garden…that they bear fruit (or in this case vegetables) and are productive for my use.

When I got done weeding the carrot patch, there weren’t that many that had come up.  There were long, blank patches in the row.  With sadness I recognized that the weeds had choked many of them out before they could ever come to be.  I don’t expect that there will be boxes of carrots down in the pit for us to use over the winter, but I do expect that the carrots I rescued this morning will grow and be enough for maybe a meal for my family’s enjoyment.  I expect more from the tomatoes and beans.  I expect them to produce many tomatoes and beans that I will can so I can feed my family this winter.

I am glad that God is the Master Gardener.  I long to be in His Garden again.  Honestly, I am tired of the weeds.  In the meantime, I hope to grow and produce much fruit and be productive for His purposes.

(See also Matthew chapter 13 and 25.)

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