Years ago, I bought a Toms Nuts glass gallon jar at a garage sale for fifty cents. I loved that jar. I used it in the kitchen of my mobile home to store stuff in, mainly the crackers, ketchup, and salt you get with your hamburger. Coupons went into the jar, as well as rubber bands, bobby pins, and garden seeds. It sat on top of a plant grow light which shined on my African violets.
One evening, Grandmother was visiting and as she walked down the hallway, she rested her hand on the grow light fixture for balance. When she did, it slipped to one side and my favorite jar, the Toms Nuts jar, crashed to the floor, breaking into a million pieces.
For one instant, I wanted to scream and cry and yell at her. If it had been one of the kids, I probably would have done just that. But it was Grandmother and she didn’t mean to do it. How can you yell at your dear 83-year-old Grandmother?
So I made a split-second decision and instantly forgave. I decided that I loved Grandmother more than I loved that jar. I swept up the pieces and we went on with the evening as though nothing had ever happened. To anyone else, it would have appeared that I didn’t care whether that jar got broken or not, but that wasn’t the truth.
I made an interesting discovery that night, a spiritual truth that I have never forgotten. On the surface it is so simple, but in practice it is a hard truth to live by. If you put this truth into practice in your everyday life, you will never be the same.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…….but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…..For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV
People are more important than things.
I’m not much of an outdoor gardener these days, but I have planted several perennials in the yard that bloom each year. Most are doing pretty well, but I haven’t had much luck with azaleas here in northeast Oklahoma. I’ve replanted new ones twice, but they died both times, and considering their short blooming season, I’ve just given up.
I’ve had good success with other perennials such as the hibiscus and the crape myrtle. The hibiscus I have was already here in my back yard when we bought this house. There were also beautiful shrubs in the front flower bed and Rose of Sharon shrubs, as well as forsythia, already here when we moved in. I planted the crape myrtle after I noticed them blooming all over Oklahoma in the hottest part of the summer.
We bought a house that was built back in the late 1970s and it is very comfortable. It has easier access to the back yard than our other house, so I find myself enjoying the yard more. At our other house, the back yard was mainly a large vegetable garden, but this yard isn’t very well suited for vegetable gardening, although I would like to try my hand at a raised garden bed this year.
“I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.” Joshua 24:13 NKJV
I had a friend years ago who was looking for a house. I prayed with her about it, and the Lord brought this verse to mind so I told her about it. Not long after they moved into their new house, I saw her and she told me the house they bought came with a big garden already planted with tomatoes on the plants.
That’s what God did for me too. He gave me hibiscus and Rose of Sharon shrubs already planted that bloom every year, and I didn’t have to lift a finger to plant them.
Lavon Hightower Lewis