"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
- Ecclesiastes 3:11
- Ecclesiastes 3:11
It is canning season in my neck of the woods and now that I've finished my pickles and peaches it is almost time to move onto the apples and the pears! I am feeling especially blessed to have pears this year because last year we had a late frost and our pear tree froze. We didn't get a single pear. Yet this year our pear tree is bursting at the seams with fruit. In about a week I am going to be up to my ears in more pears than I know what to do with.
Last year it was apples. Our neighbor's apple trees produced enough apples to feed half the neighborhood. By the time I was done canning applesauce (almost 40 jars!) I was quite literally sick of apples. This year though the trees are hardly producing and I think we will be lucky if we get a few jars of applesauce... if any.
I know it is such a simple thing but these fruit trees have really reminded me that I need to be grateful for what I have when I have it.
If I have a tree full of apples then I better enjoy them and put up as much applesauce as I can, because next year I might not have any. If my pear tree doesn't have a single pear on it, I shouldn't complain because next year I might have more than I know what to do with. If I have a house bursting at the seams with dirty laundry I should be grateful because it means I have a house full of dirty people to love. If I start wishing for more time to myself, I shouldn't complain because only a few years ago I had too much time for myself and yearned for someone to share it with.
Life is full of seasons and in every season God blesses us with abundance... it is just the type of abundance that varies. In some seasons God gives us an abundance of snow and moisture, while in others He gives us an abundance of fruit and labor. Similarly, in some seasons of our lives we are blessed with an abundance of noise, family, and work while in others we are blessed with an abundance of silence, solitude, and free time. It is all abundance and it is all a blessing. The challenge is learning how to recognize what abundance God has blessed you with at a particular season of life and then choosing to enjoy it.
I know that for me this season of my life brings an abundance of pears which I am going to enjoy and store up for next year, because I don't know if God will send them again. I am also blessed in this season to have an abundance of housework, children, noise, and laundry which I am going to to enjoy, because one day my house will be far too quiet.
Even though it is hard work, I know I will miss this season of my life when it is gone. It is just too bad I can't can it all and preserve it as easy as I can the pears.