May 22, 2010

Kissing babies…

They were gone. All my little babies were gone. They were there one day and then gone the next. I stood dumbfounded and almost cried. How could this happen again? Was it something I did? I turned and walked away a changed man. I was now on a mission. I would find the culprit and he would pay. He would pay dearly.


Two years ago my parents gave me two orange trees. I was so surprised when last March, both trees were filled with blossoms. We might have fruit this year! Several of the blossoms produced orange buds and it looked like I would have a harvest of at least a dozen oranges. But then they disappeared! One day I woke up and they were gone. It had been very windy that year. I had originally planted the trees on the leeward side of the house to protect them from the wind, but maybe the winds were too strong.


I was disappointed, but I took comfort in the words of Habakkuk 3:17-18, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Oh well, there is always next year.


This year I was ready. I installed a bubbler system to regularly water my trees. I fertilized. When the blossoms came I went out to see how strong the winds were. Even on really windy days, the trees were protected. When all was said and done I had at least 30 buds on each tree. I went each morning to adore each bud. They seemed to almost double in size every day. I began to call them my babies. My babies were growing strong and healthy. Until last week. I went out to kiss them good morning and they were gone. …stripped from the tree. And since it hadn’t been windy the day before, I knew it couldn’t be the wind.


That’s when it all came together. The javelinas. Every morning for the past few weeks we have had javelinas around our back yard. I had researched what could be eating my orange buds and many people have problems with deer. But we don’t have deer. It never dawned on me that javelinas could do such damage. Aha! I have met the enemy and it is the collared peccary.


I am again taking comfort in the words of Habakkuk. Next year I’ll stand guard all night and chase the little critters away. Or maybe I’ll put up a fence. In any event, now I know the enemy and I know my mission. He will not get my fruit next year.


You also have a mission. It’s to bear fruit in this world and share the sweetness of the Gospel. Satan is doing everything he can to prevent you from doing this. He wanders like a javelina looking to devour everything in his sight. Yet the Master Gardener cares for each of his babies. His Holy Spirit surrounds our lives and gives us the protection we need to do what we were created to do.




Pastor David Hook



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