Radish Farmers (August 3)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can’t carry anything out. But having food and clothing, we will be content with that.  (1 Timothy 6:6-8, WEB)

We have learned a lot this year in farming. We are still not very successful farmers, in terms of volume of food produced. We still have a lot of work to do to get more full sun to our crops, and to improve our soil.  We did lose a lot of plants to pests. As a result, many of our crops are small, and quite a few failed entirely. And this has been a lesson in continuing to trust in the Lord, and to remain hopeful in His perfect plan, knowing that no time is wasted when you’re following His direction, even when things appear to be unsuccessful. But even more than this, my favorite lesson so far has been the lesson in radish farming.

I like radishes. They are spicy and delicious. But I usually think of them in terms of small quantities – a few crisp radish slices in a salad, a few pickled radish slices on top of rice…But this year, radishes seem to be one of the few crops where we’ve had success! You see, they only take about 60 days to grow. And you can eat everything on them.

So after our first harvest of radishes, Joe said, “Wherever we’ve had crops fail, I’m going to plant radishes.” And I thought to myself, “Um, okay, but…”

And then, when we transplanted tomatoes and peppers, Joe said, “We can plant radishes down the row in between, because we’ll be harvesting them before the tomatoes and peppers grow big enough to block their sun.” And I thought to myself, “Um, okay, but how many radishes do I want to eat?”

And the radishes sprang up beautifully, filling any empty spaces with big, bushy, leafy greens…

And Joe said, “Hey, if radishes are the only thing we can get to grow, I’m gonna grow radishes!” And we began to laugh about it.  And we began to call ourselves radish farmers.

And they are, I must say, delicious. We do have a few pickled, and we do have a few sliced with a salad, but we also sautée them, and we also cook up the greens, and with some fresh bread, that makes a full meal. And along with a few turnips and a few mustard greens and a few early carrots and a few snap peas, they have replaced the fresh vegetables that we used to buy at the store. And there’s a reason for that. Instead of going to the store and buying what we feel like eating, we go to the farm and eat what the Lord has growing.

And something clicked inside my head about the Lord’s provision. I didn’t really want a lot of radishes. I wouldn’t have continued planting them. But Joe had prayed about it, and he felt that if radishes were growing, that’s what he should plant. And if that’s what he should plant, that’s what we should eat, and we should be thankful for it! If the Lord provides radishes, will I accept them with the abundant joy that they should inspire in my heart, or will I spend my days wishing for broccoli and celery, or worse yet, go to the store and buy different vegetables than what the Lord has graciously provided? Kinda reminds me of a story about some manna in the wilderness…

And so, here is yet another simple and profound lesson from the the Lord on contentment…He is faithful to provide – may we be ever grateful to receive! Godliness with contentment is, indeed, great gain…

And so, this year, I am happy to be a radish farmer.  Soon, we’ll be planting late crops of radishes for a couple more harvests in the fall. And while it still looks like we will enjoy some additional crops of peas and beans and turnips and parsnips and carrots, a few onions and tomatoes, maybe some squash and peppers, I will be ever grateful for the radishes that the Lord sent to teach my heart to be more content in Him!

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