In the summer, we still teach our children. You know we teach them all the time, right?
One summer, we were all out in the garden learning about how hard carrots can be to pull up. It was fun, though, a sort of tug-o-war between children and carrots, with Mom along to man the shovel if the tops broke off.
So many Bible lessons happen in the garden. We constantly show them how well the weeded plants grow, compared to the weedy ones. They know a beet seedling from a pigweed seedling, although they so resemble each other.
And the buckets of rocks!
They have learned to love harvesting their own snacks straight from the garden, like a small, perfectly sun-ripened tomato, rubbed until shiny and popped into the mouth to dribble everywhere while quenching thirst. They know a small packet of seeds can make all those jars of wonderful food in the basement.
The most important lessons the garden teaches, though, is that when Mom says you have to do something, whether you like it or not, you have to do it. This lesson, in a grown child and transferred to other authorities, can protect job security.
In a young child, it can save a life or limb.
Most dangers in life are unexpected. We can teach endlessly and still miss the lesson that will be needed tomorrow. This was the case, one day.
My son, another fearless one, about age twelve, had managed to extract one carrot that housed a curiously beautiful spider in its stems. He brought it to me to see its beauty and I’m sure my eyes widened.
“Drop it!” I ordered.
He looked at me, saw my face matched my tone, and obeyed. Today I still think about it. He was happy with his find, happy in his boldness, and probably happy in anticipation of sharing and of my praise. What a big deal to older brother, to turn loose of this happiness! But he did it.
And that day, the garden yielded up the lessons of the black widow spider. God’s protection, parents’ obligation to protect children, children’s obligation to obey, and the continuing obligation for all to “FEAR NOT!”—all those lessons and more came from our garden that day.
And I am not afraid, but I still shudder. His right hand was two inches from destruction.
But God can fit inside two inches.
Last story in this series here!