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Protecting our Hearts…and Gardens from Marauders

Garden with deer fencing in the background, photo credit: Wendy MacDonald

[Originally published as The Potbelly Chase]

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. Luke 1:45

Some people believe in miracles, some people pray for miracles, and unbelieving people chase away miracles. Jesus noted that those who suffocate the flames of faith in the potbelly stove of miracles rather than stoke them with hope get what they sowed.

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But before I get into that, let’s talk about a potbelly chase…

Every family needs funny stories to share at gatherings. I’m wondering if my adult children will end up laughing over some of my silly antics after I’m long gone—especially about the potbelly chase.

I’ve always loved gardens. Visiting them, reading about them, and tending to them have all played a plenteous part of my past and present. When my children were all under the age of eight, we spend oodles of our days outside on our six-acre property that was nestled within a border of alders, cottonwoods, and evergreens.Garden trellis with deer fencing, photo credit: Wendy MacDonald

In the middle of our acreage sat a fenced vegetable garden that remained safe from the deer that frequently trespassed. It wasn’t until the year before we moved that a buck or two figured out how to launch off our firepit benches and fly over the fence. I was heartbroken.

The fastest way to become my enemy is to attack my family or my garden.

One morning while I was reading a chapter book to my young brood of homeschooled children, we noticed the neighbor’s potbelly pig trotting up our long driveway as if coming for a visit.

I knew it was our neighbor’s pig because a rumor had preceded him. I was warned he was a marauding muncher of gardens. He apparently rooted out everything from flowers to marijuana plants. Well, I definitely didn’t have the latter, but my house was surrounded by a rock garden teeming with perennials I had lovingly placed between the strategically stacked rocks.

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There was no way I was going to allow a pot-eating pig to munch my plants.

An Invisible Destroyer

Before I carry on with my story of the potbelly chase, I want to talk about another marauder we need to guard against: unbelief. Nothing can uproot faith faster than unbelief can. Nothing can thwart the wonderful works of God from sprouting in our spiritual gardens than doubting the Royal Gardener’s expertise and power.

Listen to what Jesus observed in Matthew 13:58:

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Unbelief. Brings. Grief.

God requires faith at least the size of a mustard seed to be sown if we’re hoping for the growth of anything worthwhile and good. Miracles are made in places where belief is braved. Being bold to believe is a wise choice to make. The Lord longs to reward faith. My faith. Your faith. Our faith.

Belief brings relief.

And now, let’s go back to my country garden that’s about to be pillaged by a potbelly pig…

I rushed to the kitchen, grabbed a broom, and dashed out the front door just in time to catch the little grubber sniffing my rock garden. “Shoo!” I shouted as loud as I could. Then I descended the stairs faster than I’d ever done before and threw the front gate wide open. The rude guest ignored me and nudged a plant instead. I headed straight to the porky little pig whose belly grazed the ground beneath his stubby legs.

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He was in for it now.

The potbelly pig didn’t budge an inch until I was practically on top of him. Then he darted towards the driveway at just enough speed to avoid the swipes of my broom as I swung it at his fat bottom. If I sped up, he sped up just enough to avoid the impact of my broom. That only made me madder. The lazy little porker. He couldn’t have cared less that he was upsetting my day and endangering one of the loves of my life.

Finally, we both gave up running once we reached the gravel road at the end of my driveway. He headed in the direction of his home and I headed back to my house to find three children watching and laughing from the front porch.

I have a feeling they didn’t know I could run so fast, never mind the potbelly pig.

Well, at least I saved my flowers and gifted my young’uns with a story to share when I’m gone to the great garden in the sky. Although, I guess I’ve spilled the potbelly beans here by sharing it with you.

May we be as bold and brave about chasing potbelly pigs of unbelief out of our spiritual gardens too. Blessings as we continue to sow seeds of belief in our Master Gardener—Jesus.

Written by Wendy McDonald

I’m a writer, poet, and nature lover.
I also enjoy expressing myself through photography.
Creation has a lot to say…
My prose and poems are a small sampling of nature’s words.
I’m a Christian that loves reading the Bible. Find me at WendyMcDonald.com

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