One of the things I love about gardening is that almost anything can turn into a lesson…something cool to observe or learn or apply to life. And my favorite gardening helpers are my grandchildren. Many times while we had fun in the garden, one or more of my grandchildren exclaimed over some treasure to explore more deeply. We stop planting, weeding or harvesting to examine a caterpillar, watch a frog hop, or figure out which animal left tracks. Sometimes I know the answers to their questions, and sometimes I tell them honestly that I don’t know but we will research to find out more.
Last year about this time my two youngest grandchildren, then 6 and 3, were helping me pick strawberries. Eagerly they ran with their little baskets and began to pick. “Wait for Nana!” I called…by the way I seem to say that a lot. I’m not sure if they are faster or I am slower, but the gap is there. I showed them how to tell a strawberry was ripe, how to pull gently but firmly on the berry so that the whole plant didn’t come up, and how to place the berry carefully in the basket at least twice as often as placing it in their mouth. After a few minutes of picking, I heard, “Nana I can’t find anymore!”
Aha, time for a lesson. I was able to demonstrate that while many of the strawberries were very obvious, others were like hidden treasure, gems that we had to work a little harder to find. Pushing aside the leafy tendrils of a plant, they were thrilled to see the scarlet berry hidden underneath.
Today I am once again in the garden picking strawberries. Unfortunately there are no grandchildren here to help me enjoy the moment. I can’t complain. Two nights ago hubby and I were able to be with all our kids and grandkids except one. (I missed him dearly.) What a blessing to spend time with them and watching them interact together. Even so, I miss having no one to share the excitement of gently spreading the leaves to find all the hidden treasure. Trust God to take that moment and turn it into a life lesson. (I love it when God does this!!!)
As I spread the leaves on one particularly large plant, I see just the red tip of a strawberry. To get close enough to pick the berry, I have to dig a little deeper. I even have to get rid of one of those grassy weeds that like to make their home in my strawberry patch, just so I can grasp this treasure. That day with the grandchildren flashed through my memory. Aha, time for another lesson. I can hear God speaking to my heart. “Susan, we have talked about this before, but I think I need to remind you. Don’t be content with the surface truths you find in My Word. Remember you need to dig deeper to get at some of the real gems hidden there.”
Sometimes in my devotions, I am guilty of skimming over familiar verses…after all, I can probably quote some of them without even thinking. Wait!!! Without thinking? Seriously Susan? Am I missing some gems God has for me because I haven’t been digging a little deeper? Have I really started being content with harvesting the many obvious truths God has lovingly put in my path? Its time to dig a little deeper…to see the tip of the truth God has there and not be satisfied until I dig deep enough to unearth that treasure.
As the rain starts to fall, I head inside with some nice strawberries and some nice plans as well. I think I will grab my Bible, paper and pen and do some digging. Oh, and maybe I’ll grab a few strawberries as well.