Harvest Season

Posted: September 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

Our garden is just about finished producing the last of its bounty. God’s gracious hand has supplied a cornucopia of tasty delights throughout the summer. The cellar shelves have been restocked. With autumn knocking at the door of God’s cycle of the seasons, the Concords are begging to be squeezed. His timing is impeccable, always. His plan, though puzzling at times, is undeniably good.

The flower garden is blooming in full array. Pink Zinnia’s, orange California Poppy’s, red, white and pink Impatiens, crimson Gerber Daisy’s, golden Asters. Purple bell shaped Morning glories that have climbed the windmill framed over the well pump and are doing exactly what they were named for, glory in the morning. While cared for delicately through the summers warmth, soon they will all inevitably succumb to the frost of winters harsh reminder of the brevity of life.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations‬ ‭3:22-26 NIV‬‬

Samuel Rutherford, a Scottish pastor 350 year past, penned these words of reminder in two separate tragic occasions in the Master Gardener’s unique delight in His own garden. Quotes from collected writings:

A letter ‘to Mr. David Dickson on the loss of your son.’ In St. Andrews May 28, 1640

The quote, “Your Lord may gather His roses, and shake His apples, at what season of the year He pleaseth. Each husbandman cannot make harvest when he pleaseth, as He can do. Ye are taught to know and adore His sovereignty, which He exerciseth over you, which yet is lustred with mercy. The child has but changed a bed in the garden, and is planted up higher, nearer the sun, where he shall thrive better than in this outfield muir-ground. Ye must think your Lord would not want him one hour longer; and since the date of your loan of him was expired (as it is, if ye read the lease), let Him have His own with gain…

Dearest brother, go on and faint not. Something of yours is in heaven, beside the flesh of your exalted Savior; and ye go on after your own. Time’s thread is shorter by one inch than it was. An oath is sworn and past the seals, whether afflictions will or not, ye must grow and live and triumph and reign and be more than a conqueror. For your Captain who leadeth you on, is more than conqueror, and He maketh you partaker of His conquest and victory.”

Another to, “To LADY BOYD, on the loss of several friends” October 15,1640

“We cannot but have deep thoughts of the deep and bottomless ways of our Lord, in taking away, with a sudden and wonderful stroke, your brethren and friends. Ye may know, that all who die for sin die not in sin; and that ‘none can teach the Almighty knowledge.’ No man can say ‘What does Thou?’ It is true that your brethren saw not many summers; but adore and fear the sovereignty of the great Potter, who maketh and marreth His clay-vessels when and how it pleaseth Him….

The under-garden is absolutely His own, and all that growth in it. His absolute liberty is law-abiding. The flowers are His own. If some be but summer apples, He may pluck them down before others. Oh what wisdom is it to believe, and not to dispute; to subject the thoughts to His court, and not to repine at any act of His justice? He has done it: all flesh be silent! It is impossible to be submissive and religiously patient, if ye stay your thoughts down among the confused rollings and wheels of second causes; as, ‘Oh the place!’ ‘Oh the time!’ ‘Oh if this had been, this had not followed!’ Oh the linking of this accident with this time and place! Look up to the master motion and the first wheel. ‘How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!’ His providence halteth not, but goeth with even and equal legs. Yet are they not the greatest sinners upon whom the tower of Siloam fell. Was not time’s lease expired? and the sand of heaven’s sand-glass, set by our Lord, run out?

What is wrath to others is mercy to you and your house. It is faith’s work to claim and challenge loving-kindness out of all the roughest strokes of God. Do that for the Lord which ye will do for time: time will calm your heart at that which God has done, and let our Lord have it now. What love ye did bear to friends now dead, seeing they stand now in no need of it, let it fall as just legacy to Christ.

It is time for faith to hold fast as much of Christ as ever ye had, and to make the grip stronger, and to cleave closer to Him, seeing Christ loveth to be believed in and trusted to. The glory of laying strength upon one that is mighty to save is more than we can think. That piece of service, believing in a smiting Redeemer, is a precious part of obedience.”

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