I’ve been noticing some things that have been different during Spring and Summer (so far) this year. Our Crepe Myrtle trees were completely covered with blooms, more so than ever before (until the lack of water finally got to them recently). The other trees that were stripped of leaves last year during the tornado are leafing out again beautifully. And now we finally have had a little rain this week. Hallelujah!
Our bug population seems to be different, also. Each year since we’ve lived here, we’ve had an over-abundance of some kind of bug. Our first Spring, which was six years ago, it was crickets. When we stepped out onto the porch during rain, it was like an army of crickets was marching towards the door, up the porch steps, coming at us by the millions! It seemed we were in a plague, and I was a little hesitant about our recent move. The next year was squash bugs, followed by Lady Bugs the next. Those, I liked, ’cause they’re cute. A couple of years ago, it was grass hoppers. They were everywhere and eating everything green. My plants really suffered from those guys! Last year was wasps, and I really suffered from them! Red wasps are nasty, y’all.
This year, things seem to be more in balance. The only thing I’ve noticed possibly out of whack are the bumble bees pollinating those beautiful Crepe Myrtle blossoms. But there are already fewer of those, since the first blossom phase is ending so quickly due to lack of rain. I am rejoicing over this new balance, because I have struggled for years, fertilizing, watering, and “de-bugging”. My work has been easier this year, not such a battle, and I am enjoying the rest from the battle over bugs. Could it be that the tornado last year sort of swooped in and “cleansed our farm”, reinstating balance and strength for new growth? I’m not saying tornadoes are good, nor do I recommend one, but God can take anything and make some good come from it.
I’m drawn again to the book of Zephaniah, reading about the Lord’s judgment, His call to repentance, Jerusalem’s rebellion, then redemption. The book is only three chapters, but it is packed full of reminders of our nation and leaders. In the end, God gathers His faithful remnant and puts things right again. (Sort of like the right balance He’s brought our dot on the map this first year after the tornado, but on His totally grand scale.) Will we as a country endure the full depths of punishment brought on by our rebellion? Who among us will be part of the faithful remnant? I don’t usually quote verses on these posts, but Zephaniah 3:17 especially spoke to me today.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (NLT)
He is living among us. He is with us at all times and will mightily protect those who call upon Him as Savior. Through it all, He delights in us and calms our fears. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m fearful of what might be ahead for us as a nation. So, God’s promise helps calm me down. Can you believe He even rejoices over us? He is the Lord our God!
Zephaniah was a faithful prophet. When we bought our last horse, I didn’t think his name fit him, so I changed it. The Lord brought Zephaniah to mind immediately when I started thinking of a name. Why? I didn’t know. But God knew. So I read the book again and decided Zep would be a reminder of the hope we have through repentance. Personally and as a nation, God brings cleansing through our faith in Him and our faithfulness to Him. As it turns out, Zep rules the pasture, like a mighty warrior, and he has turned out to be a horse that is faithful to his master (Master Jeffrey, in his case). Zephaniah, the prophet, was a mighty warrior of God, speaking boldly to God’s people. When I see Zep in the pasture, he reminds me of Zephaniah, his words to us, and his call to be faithful to our Master.
Zep and his master, Jeffrey
I’m sorry to be “preachie”, y’all. Read Zephaniah, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s something I give a hoot about, anyway!