Harvest has been first and foremost in our home this week. We continue to harvest green beans and preserve them for the future. We, sadly, are still harvesting bugs! We are beginning to harvest a few tomatoes. Our broccoli is ready for harvesting. And most of all, this week we finished our harvest of sweet corn. We have it safely stored away in our freezer to be enjoyed later. We are never happy leaving the "nubbins" unharvested. We have gleaned and have several more quarts of corn put away in our freezer because of the nubbins. Gleaning the small ears that many consider worthless has me remembering the story of Ruth and Boaz--how she went into his fields and gleaned the stalks of grain that were purposely let fall to the ground for the purpose of providing the needy a chance to glean and eat! It was an important part of the plan set up by God for his children. While we are neither the very poor nor hungry, still, I think that it is part of good Stewardship to make sure that nothing goes to waste if I take the time to take care of it. It is a resource that many around the world would give great thanks to have available to them. Seeing the end of this harvest is a time of joy and at the same time, a time for me to be a little sad. Yes, I was getting tired of the whole process of weeding, picking, shucking, blanching, cutting and packaging. I am very glad to know that I/we are done! It has taken a large amount of our time. But--at the same time it leaves me a bit sad. There is always a point when it comes to a garden that you just stand back and admire what you and God have accomplished and how nice the growing plants look. You eagerly anticipate that first cucumber, the first ear of corn, the first slicing tomato, the first serving of fresh green beans. All things that I enjoy so much. But when the last ear of corn is harvested, then I realize that now my summer and garden is almost finished. Now things start to die in preparation for the winter time to come. And it will be another whole year before my garden will look as nice again.
I see parallels to God and His harvest. His harvest is of souls that he has chosen to be part of His storehouse/heaven. He continues the process of harvest--gathering in the good and keeping the harvest safe until His coming once again. We always must discard some of our harvest that were not good ears. They are too small, immature, too buggy, too old..... We lose some! God too will lose some of those who He would love to harvest and to have be in His storehouse! It will make Him sad for the loss of those who had a chance to mature and be good. But the good news is that He doesn't discard the nubbins--like ME! He works with the "nubbins" and gives us a chance to be harvested. Even our little bit is worth His time and care. God's harvest continues and hasn't ended. I am so glad that He continues to harvest and has not declared it ended. There are many who still have a chance to be included in His harvest--they just need to decide if they will be included in the harvest. I am so looking forward to harvest day!
We have an enemy that visits our garden and spreads disaster. This year we have a multitude of grasshoppers. We have weeds that grew too fast and too strong. We have those awful Japanese beetles and have destroyed them by multiple thousands--a huge and very heavy garbage bag full. And we have chicken visitors to our garden. I love the chickens. I love to see them come running to see what I have given them to eat. I am glad to have them eat the bugs! I love to hear them talking about what they find. I love their feather colors. I do not love them eating up some of our prized garden produce. They are really fond of the various "cabbage" crops. They like the beets and chard. And they love tomatoes! The problem is that I am not happy with their love of tomatoes. They don't eat just one--they enjoy a bite here and a bite there and another over there. Instead of one or 2 tomatoes, they taste and sample many which become unusable. I read that someone put plastic snakes in their garden and the various pests left the garden and it was safe. Of course I had to wonder if snakes would work for us until I found out that no, chickens hate snakes enough to kill them. They hate, and are not afraid. But what I did find out was that chickens fear owls and hawks. Duh! I knew that, I just forgot about what I knew. So, we brought out our garage guard owl and put him in the garden. He was pretty much useless in the garage anyway, the sparrows were not afraid of him. However, Mr. Owl is not useless in the garden! Apparently owl eyes keep chickens on guard. Ever since Mr. Owl arrived in the garden, the chickens have kept out of the tomatoes and we now have hopes of a few tomato sandwiches in our future.
I see Mr. Owl as a double feature! Satan is like the owl to be feared. He lurks around to attack if he can. He wants to capture us, to get us in his talons, to eat us alive so to speak. He is an enemy to respect and to fear and to do battle with. But I also see Mr. Owl as having another personality. Mr. Owl is a savior too. His appearance warns the chickens that danger lurks and is acting as our tomato savior. Mr. Owl is doing a great job. Just as our Savior warns us of danger and also saves us from danger. The conundrum is how can Mr. Owl be both savior and enemy at the same time? It reminds me that in our Bibles, Christ is both a lion and lamb. Both Christ and Satan are serpents. Christ was the serpent on the pole in the wilderness that represented the Savior--one look at the pole and they were saved. The serpent snake in the tree was the cause of sin on earth and death. The devil is a roaring lion that destroys, but Christ also is a lion that saves. Also we know that there are 2 different goats, the Lord's goat who symbolized life and the scapegoat that received the sins of the people and then was sent out to die--forever.
I am going to always watch for my Savior and find Him wherever I can and rejoice in His saving power!