A Lesson from My Garden

[From time to time I will post one of my short stories that I have written over the years]:

I stepped out of my back door and scowled at the clear sky… going on five weeks and no rain in sight. To my left, the cucumber vines filled the raised bed and threatened to lay claim to the flower bed. No surprise, after all, I had faithfully dragged out the water hose to water them in the searing heat throughout the drought. A fresh cucumber sandwich was my motivation- many sandwiches judging by the vitality of the vine. But as I peered under the leaves, hope for my reward was dashed- the leafy vine had no cukes!

As beads of sweat trickled down under my sunglasses and caught on the end of my nose, I contemplated on how to proceed in dealing with the impudent vine. But, this ended suddenly and with a sharp burst of energy; I jerked the plant up by the roots. No more wasted water, soil, fertilizer, or precious energy. Mission aborted! : )

A loud clunk sounded as I tossed the vines aside in order for them to eke out some sort of redemption on the compost heap. Several enormous cucumbers (which had inexplicably hidden themselves prior to their uprooting) now lay exposed on the ground. It seemed as if all the nourishment had flowed to these green monsters, effectively preventing sustenance to the minuscule cucumbers along the vine. My energy was spent. Earlier I could have harvested the overgrown ones and then had healthy cukes to enjoy later on.

After I cooled off, I reconsidered about the compost and decided to pickle the culprits. Actually, they made great bread and butter pickles which I have continually enjoyed as a relish in my chicken and tuna salads. Once my work was done, as I gazed at the lovely jars of pickles, I was reminded of a parable in Luke 13: 6-9. I realize the parable has symbolism and varied meaning, but I will relay what was impressed on my heart that day:

My Jesus is compassionate and long-suffering. The owner of the fig tree had every right to expect fruit from his tree; good soil and attention had been provided by the vine-dresser. He was ready to cut his losses and have it cut down, but the dresser pleaded for more time and even more tender care to be given to the tree before it was destroyed. I want this tender heart of Jesus. I want to be more patient. I want to give every chance to find the value in each and every situation where I have poured effort. And if I act prematurely, I hope to have the faith to seek a way (through the Holy Spirit) to redeem the good out of the “bad.”

2 Replies to “A Lesson from My Garden”

  1. Really enjoyed this blog. And what tasty looking pickles in your photo! I thought about the many barren years in my own life; years preoccupied with “performance” and selfish-indulgenc; yet “grace” covered me.; “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    So thankful Jesus was/is never brutal or impatient like we can be with ourselves/others. He (the vinedresser) has eyes to see growth that’s only recognizable by one who is himself fruitful and loves profoundly .

    As I learned this past week in Bible study, “Jesus was the most fruitful man who ever lived. He had the fruit of the Spirit and that fruit drew people to himself. “ Jesus was preoccupied with one thing… doing the Father’s will; saving that which was lost. Jesus, the ultimate “vinedresser” saw fruit-bearing potential and growth unrecognizable to anyone but those who profoundly love.

    So thankful God didn’t cut me down in my hypocrisy and see me as “using up the ground.” Instead, as the song goes “He looked ahead in time, “ and saw “I am of a special kind,” all because of Jesus. . I am/we are “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

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