08 April 2011

Not Of My Doing

As I watered my garden yesterday evening, I was thinking about the life that I desire and how disheartened I can be when I feel like things are not progressing as quickly as they should. My garden isn't marvelous- my peas are struggling to make it after a string of unseasonably hot, dry, windy days with highs in the mid-eighties. My potatoes are popping up, but the strawberry roots I planted never even humored me with a sprout. A neighborhood dog decided to dig in the only spot in the entire garden bed where I had anything planted (a garden fence is going up this weekend!!). Needless to say, there weren't any carrot sprouts either. Miraculously, the two raspberry canes I planted have shot up some sprouts during the last couple of weeks. I was afraid the soil was too compacted and hard. The onions and garlic I planted last fall seem to be doing okay- I even have a few volunteer onions in the yard from where I moved the beds last year. I need to do something about my seedlings- they are starting to get a bit cramped, but I worry that planting them now would leave them vulnerable to the weird weather we've been having. I've only been at this gardening thing for a couple of years- learning many lessons the very hard way- but sometimes (as in last night, for example), I am hard on myself for not doing better. My garden is not self-sustaining and at this rate, it will definitely NOT be our sole source of veggies for the year! But I still wish that it could be. I want my grandiose dreams to be a reality.

A passage from 1 Corinthians hit me like a ton of bricks last night as my husband read our devotional during a late supper of pizza (the funny thing is, I think the devil was trying to stop me from hearing it, because I was suddenly distracted at that same moment and just barely caught the words):

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:7

I know Paul is speaking of spiritual matters in this passage, but the Bible often uses examples of what is true in nature to demonstrate how God works in our lives also. God gives the increase in my garden, not me. I must trust in HIM to provide, not in my novice gardening skills. God gives the increase in my life and relationships, not me. I must trust in HIM to help me love others (and for others to love me!) with a supernatural love, not in my own beauty or charm (ha!) to hold onto a person's affections. No matter what the situation, it is GOD who is the determining factor. We can do this and that and definitely should try to discern and follow His will for our lives, but ultimately, we must leave the matter in God's hands. Once we release our controlling grip on the issue, God can freely take our problems and wishes and dreams and work them and give them back to us in ways we never could have fathomed in our limited plans. Perhaps one day God will allow me to have a flourishing garden and homestead that is literally flowing with milk and honey, but in the meantime, I am learning to take it slowly and to be thankful for the potatoes and onions even when I'd rather have carrots and peas. And a few strawberries wouldn't hurt either.

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