Blog: Hope and Abundance | Oklahoma Baptist Messenger

Gardening this year was a real challenge! We started late because the weather was unusually cool until spring. Then we were hit with a lot of rain just at planting time. In fact, we had to replant because a lot of our seeds got washed away.

The summer heat came quickly and strongly, and according to the National Integrated Drought Information Center (NIDIC), we had the ninth driest July in 128 years. We haven’t had a good year for tomatoes or peppers, but other crops such as our cucumbers, okra and beans have gone crazy. Despite all the challenges, God blessed us with a lot of produce and we were able to save a lot of food.

We spent the last weekends wrapping up the summer season and preparing for the fall season. We plant our outdoor fall gardens from the last week of July through mid-August. This allows enough time for crops to mature before the first frost. The average first frost in central Oklahoma is October 29. If you haven’t planted your fall crops and still want to, it’s not too late.

The time window is closing but you can still get seeds in the ground and expect a harvest. Oklahoma State University’s fact sheet on fall gardening is very helpful. You can access it here.

For those of you who know me, you know that fall gardening season is my favorite. I appreciate the cooler temperatures and less pest and disease pressure. Edible gardening isn’t easy, but fall seems to be lending a helping hand.

I’ve spoken with many gardeners this year, and I’ve heard over and over, “I’m sick of it! I’m finished! The extreme heat and lack of water burned my garden and I was done tending to it. . . at least for this year.

They suffered. Their plants suffered. Their soil has suffered and watering is labor intensive and expensive. I understand them and don’t blame them. The year 2022 has been a microcosm of many of our own lives – late starts, floods of disappointments and missed opportunities. Many feel frustrated and ready to quit.

However, there are others who are very excited about the end of one season and the start of another. They are ready to start all over again! Yes, they are tired, but the thought of raised beds full of colorful root vegetables, rows of rich greens, fall peas and tender herbs is just too much to keep them going.

Ideas to expand or try to develop something new that they saw in a seed catalog motivate them. The idea of ​​setting up homemade canned vegetables and delicious jams excites them. In their minds, hope and abundance are on the horizon. They are ready to pour into a new season and bring a barren land back to life.

Just as we see our gardens through the different seasons, God sees us in the different seasons of our lives. Some seasons are great and productive, others are harsh or dry. At each passage, He does not say: “I have had enough! I’m finished. I am done with you. On the contrary, He sees the potential of what can become.

With great enthusiasm he looks forward to planting, plowing and pruning hearts until the fruit of the Spirit is produced. Just as a gardener holds a handful of soil to analyze it, he holds us carefully in his hands. He understands that we are only dust and lovingly brings this impoverished soil back to life. Thanks to him, there is hope and abundance on the horizon.

May God allow you to see the seasons of your life as He does and not give up. He can make desert roads and desert streams.

Don’t remember old things and don’t consider things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will arise. Won’t you realize it? I will even make a road in the desert, rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

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