How could so much effort yield such a pitiful harvest?
We thoroughly tilled the soil. Added plenty of natural fertilizer. (Yes. The farmer’s favorite — cow manure.) We planted good seed. As far as we were able to discern, at least.
We waited and watched… and weeded.
We even assembled bear-grade electric fencing when the plants began to tassle. Long before any ears could have sent out tempting aromas.
We know that fence works. We’ve seen plenty of bears… and not one has dared to test its current.
Four 24-foot rows of sweet, scrumptious, silver queen corn. Yielding the pitiful harvest in today’s photo. What happened, Lord? We did everything in our power.
Maybe that was the problem?
We couldn’t control the weather. Unseasonable rains. Unrelenting storms. Unexpected flooding. Sometimes for days, then weeks, at a time.
And our garden occupies our side yard. So it’s bathed in full sun only a few hours each day. Spending far too many hours covered by far too many shadows.
Maybe I’m not so surprised at our harvest after all. Maybe this pitiful harvest is far more nutritiious than any bumper crop could have possibly been. If I savor its spiritual truths…
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)
And how can anything of real value grow without enough exposure to You, Lord… The SON who created the sun?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
We can do everything in our own power — everything in our earthly wisdom — to make things happen in our lives. We can even succeed on some level. Perhaps even in ways that impress the whole world.
“… what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
We can even, as much as humanly possible, protect ourselves from predators of varous kinds. But one thing is certain: Storms will always come.
Unexpected storms. Unrelenting storms. We can’t keep storms from coming. But how can we sustain ourselves through them? How can we recover, and even thrive, despite them?
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Why did You tell parables, Lord? Drawing power-full truths out of the most common things in daily life? Were You not hoping — as You hope, even today — that the students were ready…
… because The Teacher had appeared?
What’s that, Lord? Maybe next year’s garden needs to go in the front yard? Where there’s lots of sun?
“Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
Hearing You, loud and clear…