You see this bowl of potatoes? To most it looks like a bowl full of dirty potatoes, but to me it represents something I almost missed…
Back in the spring as we were preparing our raised garden beds for planting I noticed a few sprouts that I thought were weeds and they were about to be plucked out (you may remember that from a previous post). However, when I pulled that weed out there, to my surprise, was a potato! I was quite excited! I was anxious to show Wade so that he could share in my excitement. What I’ve learned living on a farm for only a year and a half is that farming is hard work, rewarding, but definitely hard. So it’s always nice to share the little victories.
See, last year we planted potatoes for the first time. I loved the idea of planting potatoes because they are such a story of unforseen blessings. With potatoes, all the action takes place under the surface. It goes like this, you plant the potato in what you hope is good soil and then you water and wait. Unlike other plants, tomatoes, strawberries, sunflowers, broccoli, cucumber, and you get my drift, you don’t see the fruit mature, you just have to have faith that the process is going along according to plan. You can see the green part of the potato plant growing, but you really have no idea if the fruit is reproducing and growing under the ground. As a matter of fact, you won’t even know how much fruit you will get from each plant until you harvest. Speaking of harvest, this is so cool… You actually harvest the potatoes when the plant on top of the ground is dead. Isn’t that interesting? I mean, usually when a plant is dead you just throw it away or turn it back under to breakdown and return the nutrients to the earth, but not potatoes!! This is when it’s time to get your hands dirty and reap your harvest or in this case, receive an unforseen blessing.
The picture at the top of this post represents an unforseen blessing. When we left those plants in the garden this year we really had no idea if the fruit would be edible or if they would even mature. But, how surprised we were when we stuck the spade in the ground and began uncovering potatoes, 5lbs!! That’s not all, we still have more potato plants we haven’t harvested. That’s the beauty of it….
So often we walk through really difficult situations like the loss of a loved one or a job, divorce, or even abuse, and in the midst of those situations things seem dark. It can even cause us to question our circumstances and even question God, and it’s often once we have moved past the moment that we can start to reflect on just why it all had to happen the way it did.
Sally, a dear friend of mine, made a statement recently that caused me to take pause. See, she found her family in the midst of what looked like a disaster, a life changing situation. Her teenage daughter was pregnant… I’m sure Sally had many feelings and thoughts: “How could this be?” How did I go wrong?” I’m sure she questioned herself as a mother, wondering what she could have done different to change the situation. Even the hopes and dreams she had for her daughter had to haunt her mind at times, feeling guilty for even thinking such things…. But here’s the beauty, the unforseen blessing, the statement that caught my attention. Sally says, “Brooklyn getting pregnant was the best thing that happened to our family.” Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she was saying having a pregnant teenager daughter was the best thing, but what I think she was saying is that this situation, life changing moment, became a testimony of how God can take the messiest of situations and bring about good. The worst moments, the ones that seem like you just can’t make it through can turn into the best moments.
I have found in my own journey with God when those times of crisis come, those yucky situations you wish you could avoid, I have to lean on what I know not what I feel. That’s when passages of scripture like Isaiah 55:8&9.
8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Even though I may not be able to see or understand in the midst of my situation and circumstances I can be reassured that God is able to see through my situation and I give Him liberty to turn my ‘mess into a message.’
….As I’m writing this, God is reminding of His faithfulness, not only in my life, but in my friend’s and families’ lives. Memories and moments, tears shed with friends and family over their situations, prayers that were prayed… and now reflecting on how God used that mess or how He made provision in each situation, or how He changed a heart or mindset… Even finding victory over their situation!! (Praise Break) I’m praising God for all He is, and for the understanding that He is greater than me in all ways!!
I’m willing to bet that you have walked through seasons and situations in your life that looked hopeless in the moment, but God created an unforseen blessing…