Ed, my old neighbour in Saskatchewan, does not want to hear about my stupid gardens. He feels gardens are responsible for things the world could do without. Ed has no interest in flowers. Maybe he is colorblind? He says that other than potatoes, vegetables are not needed. Only apple, cherry and peach fruit trees are okay. He told me yesterday the fact that we have had lettuce, radishes, spinach, peas and two strawberries off our garden is too dull to hear about, and I need to get a life away from my gardens. Life is not dull or boring in the garden.
Sometimes I feel that I need to get away from my gardens, too, as once I go in them, there is always more to do than I have time and energy to get done. Weeds wait for no gardener, they attack twenty-four-seven. Shrubs and hedges often need a haircut. Gardens go to the extremes of too wet or too dry. Certain plants show that you have over watered them and get sick in spitefulness.
Ed reminded me that when I lived beside him that I foolishly gardened when the mosquitoes were thick enough to shovel. It is his theory that gardeners in Saskatchewan run low on blood during the gardening season as the mosquitoes drink it. His motto: “Keep out of the garden and starve the mosquitoes.”
Gardens are an excellent place to consider impossible expectations. Gardeners are guilty of wanting everything they have planted to produce in abundance. If just a few vegetables have a bumper crop, then the gardeners complain they have more of this or that than they can use or give away. The vegetables cannot win for they will be blamed for too little or too much production.
Some people have impossible expectations of others. They only correct and criticize. They are never satisfied with the conduct of others. It is too discouraging to be around them. Some people view God as having impossible expectations for them and believe that God wants only to correct and criticize them.
Some see God because he is holy or sinless, almighty, eternal, and omniscient as above everyone at the top of a very high ladder. If one considers himself His child and starts climbing up the ladder to reach God, he or she finds themself never able to close the distance between God and themselves. They have a view that they will never be good enough for God. They forget God can come to them wherever they are.
God is shown in scripture as compassionate or full of mercy, as gracious showing undeserved kindness and forgiveness. God is good and kind, as well as holy and sinless. God delights in each of us and knows and accepts our limitations. Psalm 103 reminds us that God knows how we are formed and remembers that we are dust. It is God who forgives all our sins. He brings healing to our diseases and crowns our lives with love and compassion. He satisfies our desires with good things. Thankfully God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. As a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.