Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Than a Person Can Handle

The garden spot for tomatoes and beans isn't very large. Maybe 12x20'. The strawberry patch and asparagus plot is a bigger space, and then there's the section for the berries too (which currently has potatoes tucked in between the tiny canes and shrubs just starting out). I don't have the raised beds planted with anything yet. Even with this little bit, there's always something to do in the garden.

When the topic of family size comes up in Lutheran circles, it sometimes gets controversial. There are those who say (somewhat accusingly), "God blesses us with children! Why wouldn't you WANT as many blessings as you can get???" The suggestion is that those who don't try to maximize the size of their family are thereby rejecting God's blessings and thus also rejecting His will for their lives. (Pastor Petersen has a post today about speaking the Law and then pretending that it's Gospel. It kinda sorta adds something to this paragraph.)

So as I'm pulling up purslane roots and sorrel and grass and clover and lamb's quarter, as I'm yanking fistfuls of creeping Charlie from creeping into the garden, as I'm pondering all this nutrient-rich LIFE I have been given to tend in the backyard, I begin to wonder about the people who say we "should" want as many blessings as we can get ...

Do these folks all have huge gardens?

Do their gardens increase in size most years?

Is it okay to say to God that "we have enough garden now; we don't need more" when you could always use more blessings from God, if not for yourself, then for the benefit of the neighbor?

After all, God blesses us with food. Sure, it takes work to manage a garden. But aren't we spurning God's blessings when we hold the size of our gardens to something we can manage properly?

I bet, if our gardens were bigger than we could manage, God would still bless them. We'd still obtain food from them. But maybe at a cost to the productivity of the plants. Some people are okay with a garden being full of weeds, or not getting watered enough, or not making sure all the food is harvested and then canned, frozen, dried, or otherwise preserved. Other people want to pay closer attention to providing diligent care for a garden small enough to handle.

Would it be right for either gardener to suggest that the other's way is wrong?

Somebody is going to go ballistic now, and think that I'm comparing children and carrots. Not so. All I'm doing here is saying that there ARE instances when some people [validly] say to God that they have all the blessings they can handle. And nobody thinks the worse of the Christian who has a small garden; nobody says, "Well, he's rejecting a blessing God would've given him. Only an unbeliever or immature Christian would reject a blessing that God wanted to provide."


  1. BOTH ways make sense to me! We have hands to till and to weed, we have yards to plant grass on or to plant vegetables on. BOTH are good stewardship of the land.

  2. I was once on an elist for large families where the women were SAD that they were not getting pregnant as soon as the baby popped out! And not only that..they were asking advice how to get their fertility back quicker! I told them that God was blessing them with a little rest for their bodies...to be thankful!

    oh and then I got off that list.