Common Grace And The Curse

      
     The rain that falls to the earth and waters the land is a common grace.  That is, it falls and waters the land of the evil as well as the land of the righteous.  This is also an accursed world, and the rains sometimes do not fall and there is drought.  At other times, the rains fall and do not stop and there is flood.  There are weeds that threaten to choke,  and thorns and thistles that cover the ground; and we are promised that this is the way it will be until the end of this present earth.


     “And unto Adam he said , Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee , saying , Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;   Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return . “, Genesis 3: 17-19 
     This could be discouraging, and I suppose that it is to those who have no hope in the Lord for their eternal future.

 
    

     We had very little rain this fall and well into the winter.  Our pastures and fields were quite brown, and I wondered if we would have any green grass for the sheep and goats this spring. 

     Three weeks or so ago, it began to rain, and rain it did!  Our parched land soaked it in eagerly, but then the ground became saturated.  Low spots filled with water and overflowed.  Early blueberries, already in bloom, were drowning in several inches of water.  In recent days, the weather has been warm and dry.  Yet, the water still stands in places. 

     Our beautiful spring-like weather tempts us to till our garden and make ready for early planting, but the ground is just too wet in most places.
    

     I have known my dependence upon the Lord for all things for a good many years, but this year I have taken an even deeper understanding of that dependence.  The $60 worth of asparagus crowns we planted in trenches, in a timely manner, were almost immediately flooded by the rains that did not stop.  The trenches are at last drying out, but I have no way of knowing if the crowns rotted in the ground or if they survived.  God knows, and in time, I will know, too.  My sinful nature would like to fret about the possible loss of those crowns, and the money invested in them, but I should not.  The crowns, and the money, are the Lords to do with as He will. 
     The same can be said for the bare root strawberries I ordered.  I ordered them at the right time, and they arrived at the right time; but they ground where they are to be planted has been far too wet to work.  For the last few weeks, I have kept the strawberry roots tucked away in our cool, dark storage building.  Dani and I have kept the roots moist.  Even with that care, the strawberries are sprouting and doing what they are supposed to do in this climate in March.

 
     Last week Copper and Aaron used the trimmer to cut down the grass and weeds that grew in the area where we want to plant the strawberries to help the ground to dry out a bit.  I’ve been out there at least once every day since to check on the progress of the drying out.  Today my precious Aaron used a few hours of his Saturday to till that piece of ground.

 
    


      He brought several wheel barrow loads of compost to the site and spread it and then tilled again.  Though he went over the plot several times, the ground is still too wet to be properly hilled to plant the berries.  It is clouding up and more rain is expected tonight and tomorrow.  I am praying that the rain will be light and that the strawberry patch will actually be drier on Monday than it is today so that we can till it again, rake up the hills and plant the strawberries. 
    


    
     Even in that prayer, I can see my own selfishness.  Though we’ve had a lot of rain, and more snow has fallen in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, most of our reservoirs are still low.  The farmers in our part of the state are looking at cutbacks in the amount of water they will be allowed for irrigation purposes this summer.  At the same time, their orchards are in bloom,  or ready to be so, just as my own are.  Rain during the times when the bees need to be activate to pollinate the trees can also bring devastating loss. 
     


     God has given us the knowledge and skills to be the garden tenders He ordained that we should be.  We can prune our vineyards, cultivate and plant our gardens and fertilize our orchards.  In fact, in our pride, we like to think that we can circumvent God’s creation plan.  We cannot.  What we can do, though, is acknowledge our complete and utter dependence upon God.  We can turn our hearts toward Him and seek to do His will.  We must abandon the thought that we what we think of as our own, is really His and His alone, including our very lives.  Surrender it all, it is His anyway.

     I’m still hoping, and praying, that the asparagus bed will mature and give us asparagus for the next twenty years or so.  I’m still hoping, and praying, that we can get the strawberry plants, all 120 of them, planted before they are lost.  I’m still dealing, almost daily, with the weeds that threaten to overtake the onions, garlic and Swiss Chard that have overwintered in the garden.  However, I am resting in the fact that it is all His and He will do with it what He will.  Truly, I’d not want it any other way. 

     From my commonplace book:  “Believe God’s Word and power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences.  Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock which ebbs and flows, but your sea.” – Samuel Rutherford

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

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6 comments to Common Grace And The Curse

  • What a beautiful piece earth you have! How many acres do  you live on? Your trees and plants are all wonderful. I plan to expand my garden this year with the ok from Sweetheart…our yard is not large but there is a nice spot to expand the little plot I have.

    Your quote from Rutherford reminds me of the hymn, “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand….” I love that hymn! Also, It is Well With My Soul….my all time favorite.

  • ” . . . are the Lords to do with as He will”

    ” . . . complete and utter dependence upon God”

    The entirety of your post spoke to my heart, but the two quotes shown above, even moreso.

    Blessings,

    jAne

    http://tickleberryfarmblogspot.com

  • Cheryl,
    If you have time, would you do a post on using your harvest?  The freezing, canning, drying, etc. you do to preserve what you raise.  Also how you use the sheep & goats.   In these uncertain economic times, I think it would be a help to everyone to hear what you do.

    thank you,
    K

  • @tjsNana –   We have 5.5 acres, but really use about half of it.  I’m hoping to do a pictorial tour later in the season when our garden is in.  It is Well With My Soul is Copper’s favorite hymn!

    @ladyjanesjournal – If your heart was touched, dear one, that was the Lord and not me. 

    @RicksFarmwife – We’ll definitely be sharing what we do in the way of canning, freezing and dehydrating this year as it comes.  We’ve not always had a big garden and the years have been mixed with how much food preservation we do.  However, this will be a year of making the most of every little bit that the Lord blesses us with. 

  • I posted this week on the same thought, but a different angle: my husband’s job is none too secure, and I found out that my “dependence on God,” may have looked more like a “dependence on a paycheck” for God’s provision.

    Your thoughts encourage me! Isn’t it gentle of our Father to “remind” us in these ways, that He is the One we need to look to?

  • @barbieheart – He is gentle, when He can be.  Unfortunately, I’ve been one to require a less gentle approach from Him from time to time, too.  So glad to hear that not every one is as stiff necked as I can be!