(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Picking God’s Good Harvest
By Alexandria Bowers
When I was a little girl, living in the stunning, lost-landscape of New York, one of my most looked-forward to moments yearly was the brisk beginning of Autumn.
I have memories of green shifting to gold, of leaf pile-portals and old, dancing, barren branches, waiting to hold new-born flowery-fruit in their arms. A recollection of thoughts that breeze back to me revolve around an elementary school adventure, one that took place at an orchard. A day where my former classmates and I rode a boxy-yellow bus for miles, just to pick ripe, colorful apples. I remember laughter and trying to hold more fruit than I could handle. Being reminded by the adults around me to grab for the good, hearty balls of bright red and green – and not to run out of sight, away from the boundaries of the chosen bushes. Some of my peers listened soundly and were joyously unhindered, while others didn’t and faced consequences.
As I ponder my past, I wonder: Why do we willingly reach for what’s purposely placed out of bounds? Why do we jump guardrails, believing them to be chains rather than protective freedom? Why do we push limits we weren’t called to force through? Why do we attempt to waltz with dark temptations and not understand the reason we end up with broken legs and broken hearts? Why do we think we can find good things in bad places? What about “stop” and “no” don’t we get?
So many questions.
Gazing at the words written in the opening chapters of the Bible, it’s no secret where these problems originated – and if we glance at the rest of Scripture, we can see the unfolding orchestra of an answer.
In Genesis 3, we see the first woman confronted, tempted, deceived, all by a crafty serpent, a piece of forbidden fruit. A willing hand reached for a place that was off-limits and out-of-bounds. We see Eve, who saw something that looked like good food for her body, something that was delightful to her eyes, and something that appeared wise for her mind – and reached for it, even after being told to leave it alone. Even after being graced with Eden. She fell for the devil’s lies, like we often do, convinced that anywhere and anything outside God could give healthy nutrition, wondrous beauty to fixate upon, and wisdom far beyond human fabrication and comprehension.
Many girls and women today desire either one or all of the triple-braided cord mentioned in Genesis 3. They want to be healthy and fit and strong. They want to know beauty and see it with their own eyes, within themselves and around them. They want to be intelligent and wise. But in desiring goodness with a warped perception, they follow the lead of their cravings instead of Christ, and end up in wrong spots that lead to woeful endings. They want to be in great shape and health, but can’t stop comparing and mulling over other girls “perfect” bodies, criticizing their own progress, and become depressed by what they view as competition. They want to experience loveliness and grandeur, and so they spend every waking moment in front of a camera or a mirror, slowly but surely falling into doubt and fear. They want what’s good, and get anything but in the end, because they wander from the One who is Good and who gifts Good things.
Just like Eve.
But just like Eve, all our aching and journeying would come to a satisfying close if we dared to seek God’s glorious face. If we reached for Him and not the world. If we listened to His gold Truth instead of silver-tongues. If we choose to be grateful for what He’s graced us with, and believe to the depth of our being that Christ and His love for us is MORE than ENOUGH. That He doesn’t withhold good food, good beauty, good wisdom – He doesn’t hold back goodness from us because He Himself is goodness. He is nutritious, beautiful, and wise.
If we just gave “thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1)