The word had spread. Everyone knows we’ve a garden. I don’t mind our friends stopping by for a zucchini or two, what irks me are the uninvited guests sneaking in when nobody's watching.
During our spring clean-up, our dog found a baby rabbit. When it squeaked, I made my husband to call him off. Little did I know.
Last year we lost all our berries. I blamed our chickens and netted everything I could. Unfortunately, this failed to deter Japanese beetles. I did read up about their four-week window of attack, after which they supposed to die. Perhaps I misunderstood, because they stayed with me till October.
Potatoes? This year the potato bugs showed up. Burning the entire plants was a radical, yet sure method of elimination. Yeh, right.
Red color on the peach trees? Google suggested cutting off all the infected leaves. I sprayed the branches with an oil of oregano mixture. After four such interventions the trees seemed healthy. Two weeks later, the apple trees got mildew.
Midsummer, I noticed I had no corn. One lonely stalk verified, that indeed I have sown the kernels. I suspect some rodent had them for dinner, before they had a chance to sprout.
The list of missing plants and produce kept growing all season. I couldn't blame all these losses on one animal, but when I spotted a chewed hole in my netting, and an empty spot where my kale used to flourish, I called over my husband and demanded action.
“Look at this,” I pointed to the mocking hole.
“The chickens did it,” he said so seriously I almost considered his suggestion.
“It’s the rabbit,” I said. “You have to catch it.”
Powered by the promise of a stew, my husband is still looking for the furry creature. I swear the thing knows. On occasion our dog goes crazy as the bunny hops nonchalantly in front of our windows. I spotted it near the chicken coop, and among the chewed up hostas.
It’s the little foxes that spoil the wine. As the blight, bugs, and bunnies attacked my handiwork, I thought back to our days of struggle. We worked hard, yet we never seemed to get ahead.
Then a friend prayed for us, asking God for a hedge of protection. At first, I didn’t understand, but then an image came to my mind; our family standing in the midst of a tall cedar hedge. I continued to pray, and things slowly improved.
Gone are the days I shopped for groceries with a calculator in hand, and winter coats and boots were an overwhelming expense. Yet, we’re faced with new challenges each day.
Therefore, I ask our Father to place a hedge of protection around you and your loved ones. I pray that He’d protect us from the thief that comes to steal and destroy. The one who’d kill our hope. For our God is an awesome God, and we find strength to stand in the midst of storms because we’re surrounded by His love and grace.