July 24, 2013

harvest

When we were younger, and my Farmer and I would garden together, he would laugh at my hearty hoeing, correctly predicting that I wouldn't last long at that rate.  I tried to pace myself, but "medium" is not one of my factory settings, and I'd soon tire, marveling (red-faced) at my Farmer's ability to keep going, and going, and going, the tortoise to my hare.

So it's really no surprise that after fifteen years and four children, I've grown weary.

"Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  Galatians 6:9

Back when facebook allotted a small box for a quotation next to my profile photo, I posted this verse, so that it would inspire me whenever I visited my own page (which was rarely, as it turned out, once I discovered the newsfeed).  Frankly, though, I grew weary not only of doing good, but of seeing the verse, for it seemed that "due season" would never come.

But at last, my friends, a harvest is in sight:

Yesterday morning, when they overheard me say I needed to bake & ice my Farmer's cake, all three daughters immediately piped up: "can I help?!"  And when the cake was cooled and the icing whipped smooth, and I still needed to cook the rest of supper, I asked Spice to ice the cake, and Sugar to decorate.  They smilingly consented.

When the cake was nearly done, and it was time to pick some corn & husk it, but I was still stirring the white sauce for the stroganoff, I asked Spice to go down to the garden for a dozen ears.  Nice begged to be allowed to pick some, too.  And when she came back with a sample ear for my inspection, and was told that it passed and she would be promoted to official corn-picker, she grinned with satisfaction and pride.

I've done a lot wrong in my life, made lots of mistakes, hurt people I loved, and lost sight of what's important.  I've missed a lot of lessons God wanted to teach me.  But yesterday as we prepared my Farmer's birthday feast, I realized - this I have done right:

I have (at least, when too overwhelmed & under-energized to do it all myself) allowed my children to solve their own problems, attempt things that might be too hard for them, try their hands at things I would have rather done myself.  And they have succeeded, beyond my wildest expectations (which were, after all, rather tame).

I have somehow managed to raise children who, despite my own failings in this area, are eager to do meaningful work, take pride in a job well-done, rise to meet the need (of which I'm sure I provide plenty) and git 'er done.  (Probably only my parents will understand the scope of this miracle!)

Most of this you will see I am not responsible for at all.  It's grace, and the outrageous gift of a spent body that positions me to receive these unexpected blessings.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however,
it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
Hebrews 12:11

I don't expect uninterrupted days of righteousness & peace from now until Heaven, but when moments of harvest shine through the rubble of weary despair, it seems worth noting, don't you think?


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