Recently we’ve been settling into somewhat of a routine as we adjust to life back in Belgium. One aspect of this acclimation has been getting the vegetable plot back into shape for planting which will in turn help to nourish our family this season. The “potager” as it’s called in french has been lying dormant for a year now and was overgrown with weeds. The soil was hard and packed. So as the boys and I began to tackle the task, the Lord reminded me of the passage from Hosea 10:12. The New International Version renders it this way, “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.” Sweating and straining to break up hardened earth is akin to an attitude of repentance whereby one contemplates and wrestles internally with the decision to make an “about face” and live in a way that is the antithesis of what has been an individual’s standard operating procedure. I’m reminded that a harvest of steadfast love and justice are the fruit of broken, reshapen, earthen vessels.
Around the edge of our vegetable patch, there are black currant and raspberry bushes. Each spring they bear lots of berries. Our family usually has an appointment to meet in the cool of the day around 19:00 (7 p.m.) with stools to sit on and bowls to contain the harvest. We try to knock out all the picking within a couple of days because the harvest waits for no one and the laborers are limited…two lessons with great spiritual applications as well. When the fruit is ripe, you gotta get it into the freezers before it dries up and withers on the bushes. Harvesting then, must be intentional when the season demands it. And because there are only so many hands to pick, each hand counts, therefore each person lending a hand must show up to work.
Listening to what God is saying to us and observing what He is doing brings clarity, pointing the way to the harvest.
So are you ready to:
* break up the ground inside you
* get out to the harvest and
* give your hands to the work?