Proverbs 12 – August 12

CC Image courtesy of Fiona Henderson on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of Fiona Henderson on Flickr.

Proverbs 12
Author: Rob Anderson

Those who work their land will have abundant food,
But those who chase fantasies have no sense. (Proverbs 12.11, NIV)

I have two raised gardens in my backyard. I built them to grow vegetables of various kinds. On an almost daily basis, I will come home from work and head to the backyard, where my daughter will show me the progress the plants have made. A tomato here. A few beans there. Once there was even a jalapeno pepper. Just one.

When we pick something from our garden, I always remark on the feast we have to eat. (Assuming we define a feast as a quarter of a tomato and two green beans each.) There is a certain amount of satisfaction in growing your own food, regardless of the amount harvested. And in all seriousness, even if it is just one tomato, I am as content as I can be to know that it was raised just outside my house.

As much as I love to see my homegrown vegetables on the table, I recognize my efforts pale in comparison to those who actually do “work their land.” We know these people. They live here in our midst. The stereotype of “good old-fashioned hard working salt-of-the-earth folk” does not miss the mark far, if at all. Most of the farmers I have met may long for more rain or a better price on cotton, but by and large, they live lives of peace, filled with a relative sense of abundance.

I am thankful for these people. If it were not for the examples of their lives and the small reminder I raise in my back yard, I would spend all my energies on some foolish fantasy. Proverbs 12 does not specify the fantasies these people pursue, but in my mind, they center on some “get rich quick, do it all by yourself, you can control your destiny” type scheme. No, it doesn’t make much sense, but we all have a tendency to ignore the One who provides for our needs. When we do ignore Him, we discover a lack of abundance—one tomato and a couple of beans could never be enough!

This week, when you reach for the food on your table, purchase something at the grocery store, or see a field in some stage of growth, stop and give thanks to the One who gives in abundance and for those who remind us of our need to be dependent on Him.

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