I could have bought a truckload of organic produce for the amount of cash I’ve sunk into my garden this year. Cabbage worms helped themselves to the fruits of my labor and chewed holes through nearly every leaf. I angrily sifted through the foliage, ridding my produce of its hungry intruders. When I returned to the garden the next day, there were more pests. Where did they come from? I also discovered a gigantic worm frolicking (as much as fat, white worms do) in the dirt near my tomato plants. I looked closer at my cucumber plants and found tiny black bugs on the mottled leaves. These plant-eating munchers were multiplying faster than I could kill them. I needed something to get rid of the bad while preserving the goodness of all my hard work.
BLOW TORCHES AND BATHWATER
Although I may have considered it, it would be ridiculous to take a blowtorch and burn down the garden. I don’t want to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” as they say. Yes, it would get rid of the pests, but it would also destroy my hard work and progress. What do I do to preserve my plants but get rid of those bugs that are destroying my plants? The key is to find something that isn’t harmful to the plants or people, but lethal to the bugs. I conducted a furious internet search.
3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.Isaiah 42:3 New International Version (NIV)
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
THE POISON THE CURE
It would be so easy to douse it all with poison and be rid of those bugs immediately. However, that “cure” for the garden will be poison to me. Being a stage 4 cancer survivor, I’m hyper-aware of the negative impact of insecticides on the body and the environment. I’m an organic grower, so my choice of options is limited. I found a DIY recipe with neem oil to stop these bugs and their life cycles. This is a lot of work and even more expense, but it’s worth preserving my garden and my health. The poison can’t also be the cure. The same is true in our lives. The Great Gardener cares for our special needs, our pain, and our misconceptions too. God takes his time and will gently invest to rid us of our destructions. I’m so glad he doesn’t use a blowtorch on my shortcomings. The best way often takes longer, but God is so much more patient than us.
20 … and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.Psalm 107:20 English Standard Version (ESV)
There’s something so therapeutic about caring for my plants. I suspect that it’s an unconscious reminder of God’s tender care for us. He preserves us while dealing with those things that are destructive to us. We should give ourselves the same grace; we should give our country the same grace too. God cares for the flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow. How much more does he care for each of us and our nation? His love, blessings, and grace are there for us all.
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?Matthew 6:30 New International Version (NIV)
Lord, Help me to be a patient and wise gardener when dealing with things I don’t like about myself. Give me the grace to get rid of the destructive things without destroying the progress I’ve made. I pray for the same wisdom for our country right now. Help us to find the grace to make changes without the destruction of the progress we have made. Thank you, God, you are our great gardener. I will thrive in the garden of your love and care for every aspect of my life.