Pests, Pruning and Productivity

What’s been happening around here?

You haven’t heard from me lately, I know.

As I walk through my garden these days, accompanied by a close companion, I see the different crops and the things they need most to make them prosper.

The Kale that needs some sort of “medicine” to rid them of the pests that are clinging to them. The Tomato plants that need pruned to produce a better crop. The peas that have passed their prime, stopped producing and are ready to be uprooted that another crop may take its place. The tiny Swiss Chard that should have been large and ready for harvest, but the weeds around it have kept it from thriving, and it is small, unproductive and needs some attention.

My garden always points me to my own soul. I need the medicine, pruning, and attention of my Father to rid me of whatever keeps me from flourishing. And the trials He sends are nothing more than the work of the Master Gardener.

Each crop I pass needs a different type of care…just as my trial is not the same as yours.

Yet, I do not want to be that unproductive crop that languishes under anything that keeps me from being all He wants me to be. About 4 weeks ago, I suffered an event that presented as a heart attack and left me so weak I could not continue with my work. After spending days and nights in the hospital and many tests revealing it was not a heart attack, we haven’t really put our finger on exactly what happened, but what did result was the incidental finding of a brain tumor that has placed “brain surgery” on my new crazy schedule. Although the neat and tidy schedule I had before was very orderly and precise, I must follow the new one.

I am trying to learn what it is that God is trying to teach me with this new lesson, that He could not teach me in some other way.

The morning before that event of June 25th, my son Silas read to me from a page he follows on FaceBook. I cannot remember who he was quoting and I am probably getting it not exactly right, but in general he said, “If we knew the future, we would ask God for exactly what He is sending us today.” That spoke to me that day and echoed louder over the days and now weeks that followed.

I need this pruning He is doing in me, and even though it shows up my imperfections, it promises to make me more like Jesus and so I welcome it as from the hand of a dear old friend.

I am thankful that my life is not left to “chance”, knowing that there is a purpose for everything in my life makes it so much easier to face.  Chance would be like sending our herd of cows into my garden to prune it, which would be disastrous.

I also know that if the surgery is to be effectual, it will be painful; yet I can rest that it is the right trial for me.

Here is a very old poem I read in an old sermon that makes me know I will not be given more than I need.

“If trials six be fix’d for men
They shall not suffer seven.
If God appoint afflictions ten
They ne’er can be eleven.”
And so, I am marching on with God by my side and I trust he will be glorified in the outcome.

And the garden will be beautiful when He is finished.

My family and friends have determined to help me keep all my commitments for the rest of the year; I am so very thankful for them all.