Y’all, it’s November! The year is winding down and the agricultural world (at least at this latitude) is packing up for the winter. The garden is getting ready for bed, the produce is mostly preserved and stored away, and the chicken coop’s hatches have been battened.
Today I’m gearing up for a last hurrah of the market season that’ll take place over the next three weekends (thankfully indoors!) I love doing these things—markets, baking, homesteading— they’re all fun and fulfilling, but they also take a lot of labor and planning, and sometimes I get so caught up in the work that I forget how great it is I get to do these things.
How often do we pause in our business to count our blessings and actually count them as blessings?
So often I just put my head down and plug along through the slush pile of to-do lists, doing ‘what I gotta’, all the while wistful of what I wish my life could look like and bummed out that it’s not there yet, and maybe never will. I spend so much time dwelling on what I don’t have that I forget to recognize and appreciate what I do have. When that happens, I don’t find rest where I am.
And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this rickety ol’ boat. Have you gotten caught up in so much chaos and discontentment that you’re always striving and never resting?
I don’t mean physical rest (which is imperative in its own right). I mean the rest defined by peace and contentment. The kind of rest that can only stem from God, because only the Almighty can provide the security and provision we need in order to truly rest, no matter where we are in life.
See, when we constantly strive for and grasp after things, it’s like saying we don’t trust anyone to provide for us. That we need more, want more, deserve more right now, and no one else is going to give it to us, so it’s our right and responsibility to take it for ourselves. Conversely, if we sit back and settle for less, it’s like saying we’re not meant for or worth good things. That we’ll never get what we need, so why bother looking forward?
One says God won't take care of us, the other says God can't. Neither are true.
This always makes me think of Paul in the Bible and all he went through and had to deal with and how even so he found rest in God’s blessings. He told the church in Philippi that he had learned to be content in all things—how to suffer need and how to abound, how to be hungry and how to be full—through Christ, who gave him the strength. (Philippians 4:11-14)
God provided for Paul what he needed when he needed it, as he did for all of his people, as he does even now for us. For me, for you. He is a father who knows how to give good gifts to his children. If he can take care of Paul, who was a mess all over the place (and by the way, so was David, Jonah, Gideon, Jacob, Abraham, Noah . . . the list goes on); if he has the power and ability and desire to take care of and make promises and keep those promises to Paul and so many others, he certainly can, will, and does do the same for us.
We can be in a tight spot and trust God will provide for us. We can roll in realized dreams and give it into God’s wise care, knowing it is from his will and for his glory. We can pursue our goals without getting tangled up in greed or believing it all depends on us. Because it doesn’t.
We can be simultaneously content where we are and hopeful for what God has in store. Even in the chaos, we can count our blessings and count them as blessings, resting in God’s good, pleasing, and perfect timing.
I’ll be trying to remember that myself, especially over the next several weeks as I balance work, market baking, and writing classes! What are your dreams and goals, and how can you look to God and rest in him in the meanwhile?