During the first summer of the pandemic, my wife and I decided to start a garden. We had the time as we were in lockdown, and the money, as we weren’t able to travel. A few phone calls, a couple delivery trucks, and hours of hard work later, we had two long and narrow raised garden beds filled with soil. And we reaped the benefits of those garden plots that same summer as well as the following one.
This year we decided to enlarge our gardening ventures by building a third raised garden bed. Now I will be the first to admit that I had completely forgotten how much work it had been to build those first two raised garden beds. Otherwise, I might not have been so eager to agree to the plan! But there we were with 5 cu yards of dirt completely filling the side of the driveway and a skid full of cinder blocks blocking the garage door.
It was a rare pretty day in April, but the material didn’t get delivered until noon, and the weather report was calling for rain the next day. We would have to work fast to get the garden built and the flowerbed borders down before the rains came, and so it was that we set out, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow, to bring those cinder blocks to the garden spot, where we would carefully lay them in the right places. It didn’t help that the tire on the wheelbarrow was flat, and that it had obviously been used flat a few times, because the tube inside was twisted and would no longer hold air. This meant that while I pushed the barrow, my wife would have to pull from the front to get the heavy load over the grass, through the gate and to the garden spot. Two long, tedious hours later, and we had a third garden plot; and another 2 hours and the flowerbed borders were in. We were both so tired we could hardly hold our heads up. Unfortunately, we only had a couple short hours to rest before my wife decided to check the weather report. Her excuse was to see if the promised rain would actually come, or if we would be lucky enough to avoid the forecasted downpour. Unfortunately, instead of rain disappearing from the forecast, it had intensified. They were now calling for another of our famous wind storms with driving rain… And the only tarp we had wasn’t big enough to cover that mountain of dirt on the driveway…
It was with visions of having to scrape up heavy mud and move it to the new garden bed that we once again headed outside. There was only a couple hours of light left, but maybe we would be able to get the mountain of dirt down to a size that could be covered by our tarp…
And so over and over again we found ourselves shoveling, pushing and pulling the wheelbarrow, dumping and repeating. By the time we could no longer see the dirt, we had succeeded in moving half of it, and our tarp covered the remaining dirt nicely.
We did get the torrential rain and ferocious wind the following day, but maybe it was just as well that we couldn’t finish our project. Our backs were hurting so badly that we could hardly move. It was only the thought of those delicious, garden-fresh tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant — and the “hill” of dirt still occupying way too much of our driveway — that motivated us to return to the task the following day.
It took a few days — and a trip to the chiropractor — but finally the pain in our muscles dissipated. It was a job well done, and we both had smiles of satisfaction on our faces as we surveyed our accomplishments.
Not everything in life is easy. In fact, the most important things in life sometimes require sacrifice. Is it worth it? Is the pain of the moment worth the lifetime of pleasure?
We will be enjoying those fresh veggies all summer long, and for summers to come. Yes, I think it was worth the 2 days of pain!
A famous saying goes like this: “No pain, no gain.” That means that no good thing will come without you being pushed a bit out of your comfort zone. God is calling you to reach out and help your fellow humankind. Yes, it will require some pain, some sacrifice, but what if that sacrifice leads to saving someone’s life? To bringing joy back to a child’s face? To removing someone else’s pain? Isn’t’ it worth it?
Absolutely. We are told to give. Period. “The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously…” (Psalms 37:21 NIV)
Jesus knew all about the benefit of sacrifice. He knew there was no way to reconcile humanity to Himself without suffering pain, torment, even death. As a result, He willingly went to the cross, and all that each of us has to do to be with Him for eternity is accept His gift: “so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28 NIV)
It would be sad indeed, if after all of our hard work, we didn’t plant a garden this year. We sure would miss out on those fresh tomatoes! And it would be absolutely tragic to ignore Jesus’ suffering sacrifice. Not only does that make His suffering for naught, but it also means that you will forever be separated from Him, that Heaven won’t be your ultimate destination! If you haven’t yet surrendered yourself to Jesus, why not do it now? We would love to help you with this. You can simply click here! Don’t wait! Don’t let His suffering and sacrifice be in vain! Do it today! He loves you and is calling you to Himself!
And be sure to not pass up any opportunity to help someone out. Even if it means a measure of self-sacrifice!
In His love,
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries