Big happenings in the garden this week! Tomatoes to tie up . . .
Already bearing fruit with the promise of more to come . . .
Not so, though, in the green bean patch. Oh! The carnage of it all! Villain bunnies at it again – and this time they ate it all gone!
Well . . . almost all gone.
I’d say our green beans got quite a pruning. Not that we can blame the bunnies at all. They only did what comes naturally. When succulent green bean sprouts lay open to prey – unprotected as ours were, well, what else do you suppose would happen? An attack, of course.
Now, you might think that those sweet, cuddly looking little bunny rabbits could not possibly possess such a dark side. And, yet, just as those we love best, appear on the outside so harmless . . .
. . . they have within them the potential to be God’s pruning shears in our lives.
The sense of foreboding was upon us when our young garden detectives observed a hint of trouble last week. At that time, only a handful of sprouts had fallen to ravenous rabbit appetites. It was determined to erect a defensive line. But, even with the best of intentions – fortress fencing arrived too late. The damage was done. And – it wasn’t pretty!
Leaves that lushly swayed in the breeze the week before were rabbit fodder today. Only slim, bare stalks remained. A loss! A total loss!
But, for the bud . . . there . . . in the center . . . see? Hope still!
To be sure, the green bean bin was not nearly so lush at the watermelon patch . . .
. . . and, nary a flower to be seen promising fruit in its season, as so prevalent in the aforementioned tomatoes.
But, despair not! Our hardy garden hands detected life yet – beyond the pruning – new life sprouting on the other side of seeming destruction. For, this attack had not escaped the eye nor hand of the gardener who now spreads the net of compassion –
. . . enfolding the green bean patch in the protective measure of a deterrent shield across which all rabbits dare not tread. Scarecrow Sam stands – a lone sentinel on guard. And, in the words of Amy Carmichael:
Green beans will be on our harvested menu, yet!
Attacks happen in life. We reach out with supple leaves into the world, ever vulnerable to attack on any number of fronts. This may come in the form of discouragement, failure, offenses borne, hurting our tender heart like so many tender bean shoots nibbled away. And, there is pain.
But, in the pain – healthy pruning happens – if we have the wisdom to embrace it and seek the Lord. His arms enfold us like a protective netted fence – bringing healing – and hope. For, as the root remains stabilized in the fertile soil of God’s Word and Will – when we can do naught but patiently endure the attack, we can be confident that such an attack does not go unnoticed by our Maker – He who tends us as a Master Gardener.
Sometimes the pruning attacks are allowed for God’s greater purposes – drawing us out to grow anew – destined still to bare fruit in our season. Miss Jeanette, our resident garden expert, was not so very surprised at the stripping of the string beans. She’s seen that before. And, she knew there was still life beyond the pruning – and hope. Now, in the wake of seeming disaster, comfort comes – and the beans are surrounded with security to blossom and grow.
This whole year has been a pruning time for me. There are things being cut away that have appeared good – but are inhibiting future growth for best. As the foliage in my life clears – even though there be the accompanying pain, I can see more focused beyond the fray. My fruit is far off, but I feel the comforting touch of my Master. He surrounds me secure – trusting Him, I need not fear even cuddly bunnies. They’ll only eat away what He determines is best for me – in Him I will come to full fruit. A difficult lesson, to be sure, but truth, nonetheless.
And when in me myself should rise,
and long for something otherwise,
Then Lord, take sword and spear