Do You Thank Yahweh for Worms?
I do. As often as I can remember to do it, I praise Him for worms. I truly do.
I never thought I would be this grateful, this filled with praise, this excited for. . . WORMS. Yet I am.
Let me explain.
I am sure you already know, worms are important creatures in our world. They help get rid of biological “waste” and turn it into rich, wonderful soil. They work hard, and we don’t even have to compensate them for all that effort. They simply do what Yahweh designed them to do. That may be one reason to raise some praise for them, but we have extra reasons.
Three years ago, this past July 4th, we moved into our new home in the mountains. A quiet little street, in a tiny little town, with lots of amazing neighbors whom we have come to love. The yard was fairly plain, and no real gardens to mention. Just three short evergreens left growing along the front walkway, lots of wild black raspberries in the woods, and ferns running rampant under the front deck.
We were busy that the first summer getting settled in, and planting a vegetable garden was not even on my mind yet. As far as flower gardens, which I very much wanted, I tried to mark off a few little beds with stones I dug up all around the yard, and during my little explorations in our woods. Then from here and there in the yard, I moved a few wildflowers to the little beds I had created. Imagine my shock when most of what I planted died. Strange. I just decided that I would wait to put in a lot of effort until the following spring.
Trying to develop big flower beds was out of the question that first summer because of my timing. It was just too far into the growing season to plant; especially while we were still trying to get settled into our new life. I did peruse the yard to see if there were any other plants or wildflowers which I could transplant the following spring. I kept noticing that not much seemed to be growing anywhere except grass, those three small evergreens, and the woods. By fall, we got so busy with life that I didn’t think anything of it again for some time.
Fast forward to late Winter and early Spring 2017.
We decided that would be the spring we would grow our very first vegetable garden at our new home! Our budget was a bit tight, but we had a box of seeds in storage that we decided we would give a try. Armed with the seeds and an idea for a good place to start our garden, out of the way of mowing, I started preparing the area and sprouting seeds inside.
When I dug in the soil in the backyard, I thought it was odd that I saw no worms. My mind thought maybe they are just deeper. So, I dug deeper. No worms. The gardener in me said, THAT is not a good sign. . . You need worms to ensure the soil continues to refurbish itself, but not finding any worms at all in the soil, not even a few small ones, usually means the soil is not healthy.
Talking to our neighbors, I discovered the construction company who built our homes removed and hauled away all the lush, wonderful, healthy topsoil that would have been created by all the trees dropping leaves for decades. We were left with sandstone, gravel, and clay. I did the best I could with what we had. I will say that over time, we did get a few things from our garden that year. Sadly, though, we were not able to get the results we had hoped for in 2017.
A friend counseled me that one thing we were missing was – PRAYER. I prayed daily, yet I confess: I wasn’t specific about WHAT we needed in the garden. Plus, I admit that I spent more time whining and complaining about what was going wrong, rather than praising Yahweh for the things that went right. My friend told me that we needed to pray and praise over the soil, the yard, and even against the devourers which kept attacking.
She recommended we not wait until spring to pray and praise, but start early with our preparations and with our prayer and praise - start in the autumn, she counseled. We decided to start during our Sukkot that fall. Because we had no harvest of our own, we thought this would be the perfect time to prayer for better blessings the next year. And, with it being a feast, we wanted the NEXT Sukkot to be one where we could share the blessings of our harvest with our friends and neighbors, too. Each day that we prayed together, we prayed a specific list of blessings over the garden plots and yard – finishing the prayers with some good strong shofar blowing, then left the rest up to Yahweh.
Fast forward to 2018
After Sukkot 2017, we decided to create a new garden plot. I did the best with what we had to prepare raised beds using trees we cut from the woods, and I worked the soil to prepare it for spring planting. The trees I cut down were smaller, unhealthy clone trees from the woods which I cut to size, then used those to mark out four raised beds. Raking leaves and mixing with some grass clipping, I dressed the beds with a very THIN layer and hoped Yahweh could bless it all to decompose and fertilize during the winter.
When spring arrived, and I started digging the soil to turn it, I was convinced there would still be no worms. I remember thinking to myself: Same soil, same yard, same results. Right? I was mopey but started working. Well, imagine my surprise when I found not only worms but BIG worms! Good sized, fishing style worms – and they were all over the garden.
From where did they come? The leaves and grass I had hoped would decompose didn’t compost much over the winter. In fact, I had to move most of it out of the way to work the soil and loosen it up. They couldn’t be the reason. There could be only one explanation for all those worms: All our prayers!!! Yahweh literally blessed us with WORMS!!! Not just some worms, LOTS of worms! They weren’t just in the garden plots either. There were worms everywhere in our yard.
After putting our seedlings into the ground, we were amazed at how the plants grew much healthier than the year before - stronger, taller, thicker, and produced much, much more. We didn’t have to do a lot to care for the plants during the summer, either. We tended it with regular fertilizers, watering, weeding, and chasing away deer. But you could tell the difference between the sad little plants the year before and the lush, healthy plants in our new wormy garden!
I even recall crying out, “WE HAVE WORMS!” and doing a happy dance in the garden, completely unconcerned if neighbors would see me! I was filled to overflowing with gratitude and joy.
Fast forward to 2019
This year WE HAVE MORE WORMS than you can imagine! It wasn’t just a fluke – Yahweh blessed our garden plot with worms last year AND worms this year.
We know it wasn’t us – last fall and winter we again didn’t work that hard in the garden to replenish the soil, and we haven’t added anything from the store. We only added more of what we have around: additional lawn clippings and dry leaves, some old coffee grounds a friend gave us. We have tried to work all that in by hand as much as we could, but still, it just doesn’t explain the sudden appearance of worms last season, nor the major increase in them this season. Knowledge and experience tell me that a lot more composting and tilling needed to be accomplished for the soil to be that healthy for so many worms. Somehow Yahweh worked another miracle for us in the way of miraculously attracting or placing wonderful worms into our garden area to refurbish our soil.
I am going to keep on praising Yahweh for worms!
Lessons learned: PRAYER WORKS! Shofar blowing helps a lot! We DO have to do some work, too. We can’t just pray and sit back waiting for God to do it all – like drop blessings into our laps.
Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don't give up. Galatians 6:9
And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase. Psalm 107:37
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD
most high. Pslam 7:17
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Ephesians 5:20
Have I told you the one about Yahweh making seeds grow in a day?
Audio Blog Now Available
Praising Yahweh For Worms
I am sure you already know, worms are important creatures in our world. They work hard, and we don’t even have to compensate them for all that effort. They simply do what Yahweh designed them to do. That may be one reason to raise some praise for them, but we have extra reasons. In this episode of audio blogs, Judith shares the story of how Yahweh blessed us with what we needed to make our garden grow - only it wasn't quite what we expected.
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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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