Bruised, but not broken

Published 5:06 pm Friday, April 29, 2016

Gardening has been a challenge for me this spring due to a winter that was abnormally warm, followed by two flood producing rains within ten days, . Then after surviving the heavy rains, the absence of refreshing rain is starting to be realized. It is interesting how quickly we can move from too wet to too dry in this part of the world. It reminds me of what I heard an old gentleman say years ago: “There is about two hours between a flood and a drought around here.” That is obviously an exaggeration, but it makes the point well.

After the heavy rains that we had a few weeks ago, the ground in my potato patch was packed tight. The only problem was that the vines had grown to the extent that there was hardly room to get my tiller between the rows. I had to decide which was most advantageous—leave it alone and hope the potatoes would fare alright in the hard ground, or take a chance at plowing them anyway even though I would run the risk of damaging the lush young vines.

Since Gale was not at home to talk me out of it, I bit the bullet and starting plowing. It went fine to start with, but since the rows are not perfectly straight, my working area kept getting smaller as I proceeded down the row.

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That raised another choice: to stop or keep going. I kept going, even though I was bruising some of the precious young tubers. After the job was done, the ground had been loosened, but the potato vines looked a bit ragged.

That left two questions without answers: Was the incurred damage worth it? And of greater importance, what will my wife say when she gets home??

I bruised the potato patch, but I did not destroy it. Now that a couple weeks have passed, there is no evidence of the damage and the prospects favor the yielding a good crop. Sometimes what appears to be harsh can turn out for good.

Life can bruise us up to the extent that at the moment we feel that we are surely broken by cruel and unfair circumstances with no sign of good in sight. Yet when we trust God no matter what things look like and how badly we are shaken, He has a way of bringing good out of bad.

The Bible records the account of Joseph, a Hebrew who became a person of great authority in Egypt. His coming into leadership resulted from his jealous brothers selling him to foreigners who sold him to the Egyptians. That is about as bad as life can get for a young man, but God’s hand was in it. After years and events transpired, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy grain during an extended famine. Joseph revealed himself to them and understandably they feared retribution.

Yet Joseph responded, “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” (Genesis 45:5, New International Version). Later on he reassured them: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).

Joseph was bruised, but not broken. Perhaps you are being bruised in your circumstances today. If so, trust God, and allow Him to work in you and through you as He sees fit.