Have you noticed the home grown garlic on the road sides in the past week? It's that time of year. If you are simply a lover of garlic you may not realize the work for this year's harvest actually started last fall. As the temperatures decline and snow blankets the earth, newly planted garlic begin the transition from a clove to a head of garlic.
Above the ground there isn't much evidence of this change or growth yet come spring, green peeks through the snow in hopes of absorbing sunshine to help it grow to its fullest potential.
We are similar garlic, if you think about it. We spend the good part of a year in utero, trusting our mother for proper nourishment. Her lifestyle is an indicator of our future development after birth.
A cold winter, wet spring, and dry summer produce a nice sized, and healthy, garlic. A mother who gets enough rests, provides proper nourishment, and takes her supplements will most likely give birth to a healthy baby.
Other times though, it doesn't matter if you have the best of situations, circumstances, and met needs. Parents provide the best for their children yet not every child cultivates all the lessons taught and applies them to life.
If the garlic didn't absorb the soil's nutrients, accept the sunshine, and reach upward to its full growth...it would die. Do you see the stalk-like greenery shooting from the tops of the garlic? These are called scapes. If you want a larger head of garlic, you must cut them so all the nourishments go to the garlic beneath the ground, not the shoots above the ground.
Isn't this similar to how God will use our trials and stressors to rely only on Him. If we become to dependent on the scape reaching for something other than the path God's designed for us, we need a little help and direction to stay on course.
Regretfully, this sometimes means having the temptation, false hope, sheep in wolve's clothing, false idols, addictions, or whatever it might be ~ CUT from and away from us. This is a painful and frustrating process yet God doesn't do things to purposely harm us when we seek to serve Him and do our best.
So when God removes the scapes from your life, you have a choice. You can toss the lessons learned into a pile to rot or you can embrace the lessons, reflect on them, and move forward.
A garlic plant's scape taste delicious and adds great flavor to the same foods you'd add garlic to. The scape isn't a waste product but a necessary component of the plant to enhance its growth potential.
Think of the troubles, trials, and stressors in your life like the scape. It might not appear to be necessary but when we acknowledge its presence, snip it out of our life, and get refocused ~ the potentials are endless if we are following God's plan, not our own.
After the cutting, there is a time of brokenness. It's during this time we relinquish our control and rely on the Only One capable of helping us THROUGH the tough time.
We may wreak of pain, sorrow, hurt, and ugliness as the blades of life remove any of the struggles from our life yet in the end...our bowl of life fills with something potent and powerful. A byproduct of the pain is hope and healing, a drive to share this knowledge with others, and the desire to trust God.
The growth process takes a lot of time. Personally I think we are (or should be) always growing while here on earth. Seize each moment to be the best man, woman, and child of God you can.
Garlic isn't cut to perfection and white during the growth or harvest processing. Instead it's dark and dirty but with the right care, it's pulled from darkness to be cleaned and prepared for its debut as a pure, clean, and white garlic.
We are not perfect nor will we ever be so. Only Jesus was yet through His death on the cross - He spent OUR time in darkness so we have the hope of eternal life and light in heaven with God. How cool is this? And yes, God gave me this blog through the process of planting, nurturing, and harvesting our garlic. Always something to learn.
Full grown, with the dirt washed away, & ready for tomorrow!
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323