Tag Archives: nature
I attended my 30th class reunion last month and was also able to spend some time with my mom, as well as a week on the beach by myself. A business associate owns a condo right on the beach, so I took the opportunity to stay there and use the time to reflect on things.
One day while strolling down the nearby pier, I noticed the beach seemed to end in the distance, so I decided to check it out the next day. It was cloudy when I started, so I didn’t think I’d need sunglasses. But by the time I was nearing the inlet where a few fisherman had driven their four-wheel trucks to take advantage of the location, the sun was peeking through the clouds and creating some glare. I wished I’d brought my sunglasses. As I reached the inlet, I spotted a pair of sunglasses in the waves! They were women’s sunglasses! While I hadn’t offered up a prayer for them, I thanked my Father all the same. What a pleasant and unexpected surprise!
The next day I decided to walk in the opposite direction to check out the boardwalk. I wanted to feel the sand between my toes, so, with a little red plastic child’s bucket in hand for shells, I started off with my flip flops in the bucket not knowing if I’d need shoes in one of the shops. A short way into the walk, the bucket handle developed a crack which eventually turned into a break. I attempted to hold the handles together and carry the bucket normally, but the broken ends kept sliding apart. How inconvenient. Remembering God’s provision of the sunglasses, this time I prayed and asked if He would send something to hold the handles together. I kept watching for some twine or seaweed or something similar as I continued to walk. Suddenly something red in the waves caught my attention – a small deflated red balloon matching my little red bucket! I chased it down and tied it to the broken handles; the stretchy rubber was the perfect material to hold the handle halves together and keep them from slipping. Thank you, Father, for expressing Your love to me during a time of physical, emotional, and spiritual need.
If you wonder why similar things have never happened to you, or maybe think I make far too much of ‘coincidental’ provision from God, perhaps it might be good to consider the Person of the God of the Bible. The song You Love Me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets comes to mind… “With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace, And then alone in the night, I still called out for You, So ashamed of my life, my life, my life, But you love me anyway…” And like Casting Crowns wrote in Who Am I?, “Not because of who I am. But because of what You’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done. But because of who You are…”
God loves you, too, and He’s waiting to express His love to you. It probably won’t be in the same way or even a way you expect, but maybe you should go for a walk or take some alone time to reflect on things, and keep your eyes… and ears open. “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
I’d procrastinated with getting my garden started this year; I could blame it on all the rain we’d been getting, and while it could be a valid reason, I have to take some responsibility too. You see, I had meant to purchase some mature tomato plants but… I procrastinated with doing that, also. Even though my neighbor gave me some tiny plants started from seed it looked like I wouldn’t be seeing any tomatoes this year.
However, I went to a perennial garden on an outing with a ladies’ Bible study group and I was so blessed to find some tomato plants being given away… FREE! They looked a bit ‘leggy’ but they already had fruit and they were f-r-e-e! I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth but rather saw them as a precious gift from my heavenly Father. He sends rain on the just and on the unjust… on compulsives and procrastinators alike… even procrastinators like me who have proven to be less than diligent stewards.
Anyway, when a friend and I were talking about gardens and veggies before I’d gotten the free plants, I’d mentioned my tiny seedlings and lamented about the probability of not harvesting any fruit. He’s an experienced gardener and told me to use 10-10-10. I reasoned it must be fertilizer, but I asked if it was like Miracle Gro®. He confirmed it was fertilizer but that I shouldn’t use the miracle plant food because it tends to produce a lot of foliage and little fruit. After doing some research I learned that too much nitrogen will produce lots of leaves but the plant will either not blossom at all or it will produce very few.
Hmm… we can be like that as Christians sometimes, can’t we? We do things to make ourselves look very mature, but without the right heart attitude and being guided by the Spirit we end up like a lush tomato plant with lots of leaves and little fruit. I’d rather have fruit and few leaves than no fruit at all, just like my free tomato plants. I mean, after all, what’s the purpose of having tomato plants anyway? To make my garden look good so I can show others what a great gardener I am, or to enjoy its fruit? So… are we nourishing others with our fruit, or do they go away hungry?