We’ve had warm weather, then cold weather, and repeats of that cycle for a month now. Today, here in north Georgia, it’s again cold with some wind added just to make it interesting.The pine trees are amazing any time of the year, but in Fall they display G-D’s tender care of His creation. In the Spring new needles form. By the time Summer comes, they’ve filled the branches, providing filtered sunlight to plants beneath. Those plants would be fine in the direct sun up in the northern states, but down here, they’d quickly dry out and die.
Now, during Fall, all the needles on the inner portions of the branches are falling to the ground. Even some needles on the outer part of the branch will fall, too. This opens up the earth beneath the trees to receive more of the Winter sunshine, which isn’t as harsh and certainly not as hot, as during the Summer.
All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name. Selah
Now there’s needles on the ground that my wife will want to clean up before it gets too cold. It’s been a bit of a bone of contention between us. I’d rather leave them be. They insulate the ground from the chill during Winter. And we do get some frosty nights, even some snow. Those needles protect the plants that have all but disappeared as Fall sets in. They’ll begin to grow again in the Spring. They’ll grow better, though, if they get some care during the cold nights to come.
Gardening isn’t really my thing. My wife loves it. I do the heavy work, though. Dig the holes for new trees and large plants. Haul the mulch and compost. Dig. Haul. I like to take more of a hands-off approach to gardening. I figure there were trees and bushes, flowers and grass, here a long time before there were any people to interfere. But I’ve come to accept that there are some things that we, as caretakers of G-D’s creation, can do. A little trimming of branches here and there, is warranted, but sparingly.
Caretakers. A friend of mine told me she figured that in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were charged with caring for the plants. I can’t dispute it. We utilize all that G-D has created for our sustenance, therefore Bwe must also care for His creation.
Reading a lot in the Psalms over that last year, I here over and over how all creation gives glory to G-D. I also know what Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans [8:22]:
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
While with the Forest Service up in northern California, I saw the devastation we visited on the forests by clear cutting. We allowed large tracts of trees to be harvested, thinking we could simple replant them as we desired. I wasn’t intending to get into the whole environmentalist discussion, it seems to me those forests are really groaning in anticipation of the coming of our Lord YeshuaJesus and His rule over the Earth.
With our G-D-given right to use His creation for our purposes, we also have a G-d-given responsibility, a duty really, to care for His creation.
B A L A N C E.
There’s a place I discovered in a forest not far north of me, that I like to hunt. Hunting is like fishing; you don’t have to bring back an animal to enjoy it. If at some point I do take a deer, for instance, or catch some fish out on the lake, I’ll thank the L-RD and cook them and eat them. But I don’t eat meat. I don’t eat meat from the store. If I raised chickens, I’d eat them. But I’d care for them as I raised them.
“I am not a vegetarian,” I’ve declared when my wife explains that I don’t eat meat. “I jus don’t eat meat.” I will eat wild-caught fish, though. Primarily for the beneficial protein. And it’s caught humanly—sort of, any way. And I don’t mind if you eat meat, either. We were given that right when we were kicked out of the Garden. It won’t always be that way.
I’m looking forward to the Feast with YeshuaJesus. Perhaps He’ll have a good old wester-style BBQ with slices egg plant and peppers to put between pieces of French bread. And a large salad.
The fish in the ponds are eyeing me now. They’ve come to the surface to munch on the food I tossed in to them. I’ll let them be, though. I like watching them while I sit and look out at all of G-D’s creation in the garden behind my house.
I’ll leave you with Jude’s Doxology, which I dearly love:
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only G-D, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.