There’s nothing quite like growing your own food. It brings such solace to one’s soul, such peace and purpose to drop a seed or two in the earth, covering it up with confidence knowing that soon a harvest would happen.
Every single day I would visit. Sometimes twice (thrice?). Watching. Waiting. Hopeful. Obsessive. Posessive.
I started taking my basket with the belief that any day my personal little farm-to-table would burst forth with a bounty of goodness. I wanted to be ready.
The routine continued…weed, water, watch. Weed, water, watch. Day after day. Flowers were blooming that would soon produce gorgeous green beans, radiant red tomatoes, cukes for pickling, pumpkins for carving, zinnias for sheer enjoyment…
Until one day I noticed something was going on with the squash and zucchini. They looked, I don’t know, like I hadn’t watered them enough. Or was it too much? After a bit of research I found out the enemy was not my lack of watering but a squash bug that burrows itself in the stem of the plant rendering it helpless to absorb the water necessary for growth.
Soon after, I discovered my once lush and green tomato plants looked like skeletons of spindly stems. Horned tomato worms were the culprits. The corn wasn’t growing. The pumpkins had big orange flowers with no fruit.
I came to the garden armed with hydrogen peroxide spray for the squash bugs, NEEM for the tomato worms and a calcium spray for the blossom rot. What I no longer carried to the garden? My basket.
Hope for a harvest was quickly fading in the fight. Gardening is wonderful but hard work. So many enemies. So much effort. I was beginning to wonder if it was even worth it.
There were some tiny green beans busting out but I was so busy battling the bugs that I hadn’t paid attention. Just like that I had four boxes of beans ready to pick! But where was my basket?
Oh yeah. Empty of hope, I had left it inside.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalms 5:3 NIV)
God reminded me that day in the garden that I had not only left my veggie basket inside but my spiritual one too. Just like I continued to visit the garden every day, I prayed and did my study every morning. What changed was my expectation.
When I went out to the garden I went not wondering what was growing but what else the dang bugs had destroyed, who was I going to have to fight and with no hope of a harvest.
I prayed every morning, laying my requests before him but wondered not with the expectancy of how God would answer but how long Wormwood would be allowed to worm his way in and destroy those that I love.
I was tired of the bugs. I was tired of the battle.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14NIV)
Sometimes the hardest thing to do in a situation is nothing. You see, I believe there are battles we are to fight like squash bugs and tomato worms. But then there are times when we need to leave it in the hands of God and watch Him work.
I did nothing but water the green beans. Otherwise they were left to their own accord. And do you know what? While I was fighting over here, they were going gangbusters over there. With nary a spray jug raised by me.
God taught me that day, to fight the good fight of faith sometimes means being in the battle, getting bloody and squishing bugs and sometimes it means being still and watching Him work.
One thing is required for both battle fields: I need to bring a basket filled with hope.
Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20 CSB)
I’d better bring a bigger basket.