For most of the summer our garden has occupied a small, but regular, portion of my schedule. Every morning we would go out and pick potato bugs from the potato plants, pull the largest weeds, and check on the plants. Occasionally, I would carry water over, but for the most part I did no heavy lifting. I had many philosophical thoughts, from being captured by the beauty of flowering potatoes, to musing on the way the Lord’s provision to us has changed over the last year, while being still entirely dependent upon Him. I pondered these things while walking peacefully through the rows before turning my attention to my other chores.
But for the past two weeks my home has been a hot, hairy, mess while I learn about the urgency of harvests. Everything bows to the timing of the garden, because while laundry and dishes and mopping the floor can wait, if you decide on Saturday evening to pick corn on Monday morning, the racoons may just beat you to it. Did you know that in three days a cucumber can go from the size of a thumb to “oh my goodness, the only thing I can do with that monster is pickle it!”? I didn’t either. I have gallons and gallons of pickles, and relish. I picked, and shelled, and blanched and froze peas every four days until I had to give up, because . . . cucumbers and cabbage, and broccoli. . . . The tomatoes and peppers are finally beginning to ripen, and I have moved from pickle to salsa production. Plus there’s apples literally falling from the trees in the back yard so there is apple jelly and apple butter, and apple pie filling all being sealed in glass jars with a satisfying “pop”.
The freezer is filling. The jars are going from empty to full. The Lord is providing for us, as he always has, in a completely different way than he has before. While He is doing that, he is also teaching me about how to tell the urgent from the truly urgent. Sometimes it means letting the cucumbers get a little bigger, or sacrificing a tomato to the worms. Sometimes it means cooking supper in between rounds of peeling, or stewing, or canning, or blanching. It is the Lord’s provision, and if I have learned anything over the last ten years, it is that the Lord’s provision is perfect, abundant, and wildly unpredictable.