Right around the same time as the “pandemic” hit the United States, I decided I was taking a sort of break in things – I set aside much of the ministry, and seriously focused instead on gardening again. The lockdown, country, family, and other things I was dealing with only gave me encouragement that it was time for a little re-evaluation.
On my social media page there are several posts of all that I am trying to get accomplished outdoors during these weeks – hand-digging our front drainage ditch, replacing the front wooden walkway with stones from digging up the gardens, digging up the gardens and the woods to level and plant a much improved prayer garden, completing the trim around our firepit, planting the veggie garden, planting flowers in the prayer garden, and so many little things around the house, too.
During these adventures, I have been spending time talking with Yahweh about different things I needed to find peace in. In all things, He repeatedly has told me to turn things all over to HIM and let HIM fix them. That seems to be a challenge for all of us in these modern times. I cannot count how many times I have said, “Okay, Yahweh – it is YOURS.” Only to assume responsibility for it all again, placing the weight of it all back on my own shoulders.
Some days I just picture Yahweh sitting, face in hands and shaking his head at me while saying, “Child, you said you had given it all over to me.”
Recently, though, in an effort to truly find peace in turmoil, I have been working harder at “Letting go and letting God.” And it has been such a relief! I find there is release for myself as I surrender control of different conflicts, and there is freedom for so many others as Abba has full control over those situations. I constantly witness now how He brought about the plans He had for so many. Whenever I do something like this, I start to see how I have stood in the way of Yahweh many times.
The more things I have let go of, the more I have heard again the frequent whisperings of the Holy Spirit – even as I work. One example of this is Borage. Yes, the herb borage that grew in our garden last year.
I can almost see the confused looks on several faces.
Let me help untangle it all – Last year, I started borage seeds indoors, then planted the seedlings in the veggie garden to help protect the tomatoes from those wicked horned worms! Sadly, many were eaten by slugs, while others died, and I was left with only a few. The blessing was that it still worked wonderfully, and we only ever got ONE of those critters, which I caught and destroyed.
For some reason, I was never able to harvest any seeds from them last year’s borage and only had about 20 left from my seed packet. I tried planting a few, and they did not come up. I tried again a couple weeks ago, and none have sprouted yet. I am still praying over those that they will sprout for the Prayer Garden.
Now, in the meantime, while working in the prayer garden area clearing sections out, I have seen a number of hummingbird moths. They are the parents of the wicked horned worms! Although I love hummingbird moths because of their uniqueness, I have come to despise their children! I knew by seeing more adults, we might get more children! THIS was a warning sign. Needless to say, I became a bit concerned. In the evenings, I was searching online for deterrents for the caterpillar creatures because I didn’t have ANY Borage coming up as yet to protect our tomatoes. I know how quickly they can destroy a patch of tomatoes.
What I didn’t know was how Yahweh was working in the background.
You see, this weed came up in the garden just as I finished filling the second raised bed several weeks ago. I kept meaning to pull that annoying weed – it grew pretty large quite quickly. I may have even tried once (maybe twice!), and it would not let go of the soil. I told myself I would dig it up “later.” As it grew bigger, it became time to plant our tomato plants. I had planned to plant them in the THIRD BED, but it wasn’t anywhere near ready as yet because I hadn’t added soil. I thought I would just go ahead and put them in the third bed area anyway then add the additional soil as they grew.
I set to planting them and felt a VERY strong need to plant them directly in the center of the second bed instead, going from the middle, northward toward our strawberry bed. This area was JUST to the right of that annoying weed. So, I reached down to pull the weed and felt a distinct impression, “Don’t pull that weed.” You question it at moments like that – was that in my own mind? Hmmmm.
Again, “Don’t pull that weed. NOT YET.” Okay, I won’t. Then I got back to work planting tomatoes. I also planted peppers just to the left of those tomatoes. I reached down again to pull that weed, and felt a distinct impression, “Don’t pull that weed. Not yet.” I KNOW how I react, so I can attest to the fact that somewhere in all those direct statements I had to have asked, probably snarkily a few times, too: “WHY NOT????” No reply. But again, “Don’t pull that weed. Not yet.”
Yesterday, July 29, 2020 I went out into the garden and my eyes welled up with tears as I saw the slightest hint of blue on top of that weed. “Could it be?” I asked in my own mind, and yet I already KNEW it was. . . It is the biggest, most amazing borage plant I have ever seen in my life! It is easily about 18 inches across, with HUGE leaves. Even the young leaves are large!
Suddenly I thought of that scripture, “For I know the plans that I have for you,' says the LORD, 'plans for your welfare, and not for calamity, to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
He surely did know the plans He had for us – He knew that we might have an issue this year with those worms and He prepared a protective force to grow right where it needed to be. He also ensured by impressing upon me through the Holy Spirit when it came time to plant those tomatoes. He showed me how greatly He was watching for our welfare and the welfare of our plants, prayerfully preventing calamity. It very much did give me great hope and promise when I saw that bright flower opening up.
When I look at all the little pieces He had in place and all the warnings He gave me not to pull the plant – which I no longer call a weed! All along the way, He was instructing me:
- to listen to the Holy Spirit
- to be patient
- to trust in Him more
- to recognize all of those things had been lax in my heart due to the frustrations in life
- to know that He is caring for us in even the tiniest of ways
I am now learning all that borage is good for – and several of those things I need right now to help heal my body due to stress-induced issues I am experiencing. I am excited that Yahweh has thought, again, to bless us in spite of my humanness. He has watched over us greatly, and I could not be more humbled.
Except for the story of the chamomile. I’ll save that for another day. . .
Blessings and Shalom
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 KJV
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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