His Work or Mine: Lessons from Harvest

Harvest. I found myself thinking of all the agrarian references in the Bible as I was harvesting today, and also about parenting.

The thing is, I didn’t make these delicious things grow. I did not make them. They spring from the earth by the mysterious complexities of God’s sustaining law in the universe.

My job as a beginning gardener is to learn over time about the nature of each plant, to place it wisely in accordance with its nature, and to guard against and remove obstacles to its growth. Then my job is to harvest and recreate an artifact (a meal) with the plants he provides, and serve with what he gives. Sometimes I do everything right and things don’t grow. Sometimes I do nothing and things volunteer to grow, like my surprise tomato volunteer or my several herculean sunflowers.

It’s very important to know the difference between my work and His.

Harvest: My work or His? From Compared to Who

God grew the sun warmed broccoli, the squeaky peas, and the bright berries. I merely observe, correct, and protect as best I can, and that’s not yet very good.

Harvest is relatively easy. Weeding is not. Pest control is not. I shocked my peppers by putting them out too soon. They are growing, but slowly. I put 3 tiny basil plants out and they all died. I provided a trellis for my peas and they thrived. But it wasn’t tall enough because I expected less growth than God brought.

There are so many weeds between my beds that I’ll be weeding a while now. I will never be done with it. Weeds are always in need of vigilance. I failed to prep adequately and now I get to do it the hard way. There are lessons here for ministry, parenting, teaching, living.

In taking up this hobby, I can see some of why the school God placed our first parents in was a garden. He made them to work a garden before the fall, before the great corruption. This work informs my other vocations as parent, daughter, wife, and disciple more than any other I’ve taken up.

Post Industrial Revolution, and mid Technological Revolution and Information Age, it is much harder to see the line between his work and ours, and missing this line brings me stress, fear, confusion, and discontent.

Grow or abide?
Nurture or demand?
System or organism?
Fear or submission?
Pride or astounded gratitude?

All these things from dirt and seeds in my small garden.

Do you know what this proves? This proves that I don’t have to turn my heart away from my home in order to quest for sanctification somewhere out there.

I don’t have to be taken under wing by a degree program to grow and assume my purpose.

I don’t have to have my passions, skills, or talents recognized or wanted in ministry or business in order to keep from missing my best life.

God is my Father and he brings parenting, leadership, sanctification and change right into the dirt and weeds and sweet berries of my small life. He brings me is Spirit and he is so accomplished in perfect wisdom, that he is fully able to use the faithfulness of my ordinary day today, to make me know him better, and love him more fully.

He’s near. He’s right here growing me (even stumbling, sinful, disordered me) to be what he created me to be. He is faithful when I am miniscule and faltering. He is tending me, even without my being of any reputation or radical impact. He doesn’t just work with his star students, he’s working with *me*. He gives even me (and therefore you) attention and time in the blessed mundane.

He’s THAT good.

Mindy Pickens Compared to WhoMindy Pickens a wife and mother who loves Jesus, her husband, their two daughters, coffee, books…and coffee. She spends her time homeschooling, tutoring in her homeschool community, and trying to figure out this whole home-maker thing. She’s a regular woman who is captivated by the gospel of Jesus Christ and is learning to surrender to the grace and goodness of God. Read Mindy’s posts here.



1 Comment
  • Ruth
    May 27, 2017

    Such a wonderful post and god has gifted you with elegant prose.

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