Published: September 2, 2023
Updated: November 4, 2023
Are you tired of summer? I think that there are many who are. I am having mixed feelings as this week ends. We are told that September 1 marks the end of summer weather-wise. Weather-wise I am glad to have summer end. It hasn't been a normal summer when it comes to rain. It is hard to understand how things continue to grow since there hasn't been enough rain to keep them growing, it seems to me and others. And yet, growth has happened and it seems a miracle! Perhaps it is. Our gardens and fields seem to be producing and we see God blessing them for sure.
This week of cooler temperatures has encouraged Garry to go out to do some more weed pulling and hoeing. And this led him to observations that he shared with me. He had weeds of all sizes to remove, some by hoe and some could only be removed by pulling them--they had grown too large for hoeing--his preferred method. I am the puller, he is the hoe-er in our garden team. Only half of the garden team has been on task. But I can report that the garden looks good without any effort on my part and I am grateful. When you work in the garden alone, you have time to listen to the birds, time to see who is driving by, and time to think. Sometimes you just think about how hot and tired you are and can hardly think of anything but how soon can I be done? Sometimes the thoughts are more profound than other times. Thinking about weeds can become a spiritual lesson. When weeding you have to pull the tall weeds to be able to see the small weeds. You have to be careful when pulling up the tall weeds though. And be careful that you don't injure the plants you want to save. The good plants, the ones you want to save can be pulled up and out of the soil by the roots by the unwanted weeds when their roots are entangled. In our own lives, there are big sins to be pulled out and eliminated. Just as with the big tall weeds, when they get pulled up, then you begin to see the smaller weeds. In us, we have to get rid of the big sins first before we can begin to see the small sins that still have to be weeded out of our lives. Big weeds equal big sins--those that we frequently do. Small weeds can compare to smaller type sins--those we only occasionally/rarely enter into and do. Like--I rarely run a STOP sign but when I do, I still have broken a law. We get tempted to break rules and sin. I get tempted to break my rule of eating fewer calories and want to eat some chocolate every day. I sin in breaking my rule. It becomes a sin when I yield. I want to get rid of all sin, big or small.
Sometimes when a good plant is accidentally pulled up and injured, it can be put back into the ground and watered and nursed back to life. But as we get rid of sins, we need to be careful not to injure or pull up that which is to be saved--the good things in us. We don't want to become discouraged and leave God. However, if we do get injured, God can heal us and help us grow stronger again. Plants sometimes can't come back--we can! God does not want death for any of his plants. He will strive to keep us growing for Him.
There has been something interesting happening. In our area, during this period of no rain to fill up the usual places of water pools and collection containers, animals and bugs and birds are searching for a place to drink. We have seen birds coming to our window for a drink in a place we normally put bird food. This summer we have filled it with water and they are quick to use it. As the vegetables in the garden are reaching harvest time, we are finding that tomatoes and peppers, etc, have become a source of water for bugs and small animals. The bald faced hornets are visiting the plants and our water lily tub for water unlike they have never done before. They are visiting our tomatoes and making entry for the nourishing liquid tomato juice that they need for their own lives. This isn't what normally happens. It seems as though they are getting desperate for the water they need to sustain life. This is causing our tomatoes to spoil.
And it is not making us very happy!
This summer we have seen things turn from green to brown and then to excessive brown. When you look at our lawn, you see mostly brown. There are spots of green. Some of those spots are the weeds that keep on growing and sucking away the needed moisture for the grass--just like the sins in our life suck away at our peace and oneness with God. But in general, I see the brownness of the grass as life without God but when He comes to us with the Water of Life and greenness of growth, then we know we have Jesus in us quenching our thirst, just He did for the woman at the well. Her thirst was quenched forever.
Lately the hurricane news has made our thoughts about water come again. Not the lack of water but the abundance of. Many places are begging for water and other places have way too much and flooding. I was reading one of my favorite column writers in the Adventist Review. And he reminded me that: Water has power. Dry hills can be transformed into fertile valleys because Heaven can open and pour life onto once barren land. In the same sense as the hills cannot make themselves green, we--apart from the Living Water--are bone dry, as bone dry as our lawns are now. No matter what we do, how much talent we have, knowledge or strength we have, what we can give to others who are thirsty is possible only when we allow Jesus to pour His water into us first! When you find yourself thirsty and parched with no relief, remember to take a drink from the well of Living Water!!! If drops of rain water can turn brown grass and hills to green, just imagine what heavenly rain can do for us--ME!!