Our Creator cleverly set the universe in motion incorporating natural laws that mirror spiritual truths. This fuels my fascination with gardening. My heart comprehends the necessity of painful pruning in my life after I’ve seriously stressed over chopping off perfectly healthy branches and then witnessed the increased fruit a few months later. I never appreciated rain until I spent six months of drought hauling water in five gallon buckets; hundreds of hours warring on my hands and knees with weeds convinced me to keep my heart clean of “little sins” that can quickly spread and take over, and my delight over a free load of manure (God even redeems crap) is probably embarrassing to my children. Pruning, rain, weeding, compost-these garden practicalities enlighten my heart to deeper truths.
He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
My recent life lesson has been about embracing the season I’m in. Spending most of my life in the arctic, I am very familiar with the necessity of cooperating with the season. With six to seven months of severe cold, autumn is more a whirlwind then a season as everyone frantically chops wood, weatherizes cars and houses, hunts and berry picks and changes their wardrobes. In the same way, summer is a magical dimension that only forty below zero survivors can understand. We lived for June, July and August. Long, dark winters grew increasingly difficult for me and I struggled to find joy in February. I fought off dread as snow covered the ground and spent much of the winter struggling to keep my emotions steady until the sun returned. But seasons come and go in perfect precision as the earth tilts and orbits; spring always bounded back to us bringing abundant life.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
I’m coming out of winter again, but this time joy didn’t escape. This time I didn’t fight the season, instead I accepted the cold of loneliness while my husband was away for months on end and the darkness of carrying a heavy load that blocked my view at times, knowing that God in His faithfulness would bring forth spring when it was time. It was tiring and challenging at times, but with steady peace I anticipated the refreshing still waters I knew my Good Shepherd would lead me to. With a grateful heart, I soaked up the cracks of sunshine that broke through- I had what I needed to thrive.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
October was amazing! My husband was home for almost all of it (and will be back for most of the winter) and we completed a long list of tasks on the farm; he also fixed all the vehicles, mowers, washer, dryer and weed whackers in the midst enjoying motorcycle rides, joyful family dinners, a quick trip to the beach and another to Charleston. Two wonderful women (both taking a break from intense ministry and preparing for the next season) moved in and they are helping me revamp the garden and keep up with chores. Baby goats and chicks, hundreds of flower bulbs planted, an enjoyable visit from a sweet Dutch friend, more grass seed and fences placed, beautiful weather, autumn hikes in the mountains, fall garden and cover crops planted, community pizza night, unexpected days off from work and sweet fellowship with neighbors- so many refreshing sips of water this last month!
For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
Yesterday was the icing on the cake. I was blessed to host a one-day seminar “The School of His Presence” and we enjoyed a taste of heaven as twenty-five Jesus lovers worshiped and soaked in Eric Gilmour’s teaching. We built our home for gatherings just like this and I thoroughly enjoyed having it filled with people. Eric shared some profound truths about the Table the Lord spreads for us- His presence. I love how gardens and tables are the very imagery used to describe our experience with God- two of my favorite things!
I’ll leave you with a powerful seed of truth Eric shared about communing with God: Snuggle, don’t struggle. You can’t do both at the same time!