Jezreel – “God Plants”

“In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord- “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and oil, and they will respond to Jezreel.” Hosea 2: 21-22
It’s easy to see and resonate with the God Who Plants when you yourself are fostering tiny seeds and sprouts in their cozy beds as weather warms, sun shines and freshness reigns in the season of Spring. Carrots, beets, mixed salad greens, various kale varieties, Swiss chard, cilantro, and radishes are all happily germinating away (hopefully) under their covers of grass clippings and dead sheep mulch. (Yes, I said “dead sheep mulch”; composted remains of deceased flock members and carbon material, aka: leaves and wood chips. After about 2 years we pick through the pile, separate out the bones and fat deposits and sift through a wire grate as though panning for gold to end up with super-rich mulch material for the garden.)

New growth and new beginnings are all around us and life itself seems to jump for joy of newness and expectation. Just as Jezreel is not only concerned with immediate gratification but with the extended journey down one’s spiritual path, so are annual seed plantings not the only thing on a gardeners mind when the delicacies of perennial berries, nuts and stalks are on the radar. We’ve been mulching gooseberries and black raspberries with wood chips this week as well. And walking around the back perimeter of the farm provides encounters with all the steadily growing pecan and walnut trees Natalya planted 15 years ago. Just now beginning to produce, it’s taken this long to see the fruits of her labor – hopeful and patient waiting is a great mindset to be in when dreaming of gathering these energy-rich sources of food.

Yes, Spring is a time of awakening, busy-ness, new pastures and horizons.

We’ve been letting the sheep out onto pasture at lengthening intervals. Slow acclimation is the name of the game when it comes to changing habits with livestock. If we were to just turn them out of the barn where they’ve been getting a steady diet of dried hays (red clover, alfalfa/chickweed and brome) and supplemental water, onto open green pasture their systems would ‘shock’ in a sense; the green- and water-content of fresh plants scoots itself out of their systems a bit too easily. Not that it’s necessarily a harmful scenario, but it’s definitely not on the list of good husbandry practices or ways to keep your work boots clean.

And so I leave you to ponder on the miraculous new (and not-so new, perennial-type) ways Jezreel may be speaking to your heart this Spring. Whether it’s cultivating garden beds, new habits or new friendships or simply Spring Cleaning to take stock of things – please marvel in wonder of the way of faith like a mustard seed.

 

 

 

“We cannot sow seeds with clenched fists.”

 

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