Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Devil Dancing At My Gate

This morning as I walked out my front door I discovered someone had stolen an entire flat of tomatoes from off our front porch.  That hurt...I can't say it any other way.  To be honest, gardening for the past three years has been discouraging and though I try hard to not let it get me down, things like this don't help as you can well imagine.

Japanese Trifle tomatoes that were stolen May 14/15, 2011

I am challenged by the need to forgive the thief as is required in my faith and yes I need to forgive them.  I need to pray for them and not to look at this as a personal offense...but its hard when I feel the pain of it.  I put a lot of work into those plants, nurturing and protecting them and, because of my personal investment, I feel the violation that one experiences when a strange breaks in and takes what is not theirs.  Dog gone it!  It took a lot to get those puny little tomatoes that big!

It is at times like this I sense the devil is dancing at the gate of my garden trying to discourage me. I'm weary of the sound of his taunting.  I am just being honest.  I don't understand why these things seem to be happening more than they used to but they are. The one thing I do know is that God takes what the devil intends for evil and uses it for good and because of this I trust there will be good come out of this somehow.

More than likely this good God is going to perform is something He is working in me though who knows, maybe those tomatoes will bring that thief to his knees in repentance.  This truly is my number one hope for them as I remember how desperate my own life was before I trusted Christ as my savior.  It's not my job to save the thief, its not my job to judge them, though I know what they did was wrong.   And it's not my job to seek vengeance...that's clearly God's business and He's a lot better at it than I could ever hope to be.  So I set my heart to forgive as I have been forgiven and to pray for the thief, whoever they cheek is turned.  After all, who am I, this one who has literally broken every command in the book, to pass judgement upon a thief who has only stolen my tomatoes.  I pray God will have mercy on them as well.

Romans 12:19 - 21
"Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine I will repay," says the Lord.  But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

I used to be the snarling watchdog at the fence when people would steal flowers or plants from my garden, always out to get them, but I have come to understand that there is no good fruit in that and it mad me an angry person with higher blood pressure.  Instead I have learned it is far better for me to pray for those who offend me by their selfish, destructive actions.  I try to live at peace with all men, bless those who curse me and remember always, that except for God's grace and the shed blood of Jesus, that could very well have been me stealing those plants from someone's porch.


  1. Hi Patty,

    Sounds like you're already gaining the victory in a sad situation! I can't imagine why someone would steal your tomato plants and then...what ?
    Plant them in their garden? strange!
    I wish I could send you a flat of tomatoes to replace them : )

  2. Thanks Karen...It was truly a good reminder for me to keep things in perspective. I don't understand people but do understand what it means to be desperate and do something that only will fill a heart with guilt later. Pretty sad. Your generous thought is appreciated.

  3. Hi Patty,
    I still don't understand why people would take tomato plants of all things, but they must have thought they needed them more than you did...or maybe kids messing around with no thoughts about them at all. Love your forgiving heart :) These little lessons we get are always a reminder of something greater, aren't they? Is it too late to send you seeds? 'Cause I will!

  4. Rhonda...You are so sweet to offer seeds. It is too late to sow them this year unfortunately but thank you for the kind offer. Yes it is hard to understand. I do not believe it was kids but an adult who had the sticky fingers. Kids usually take weird things and or do damage.

  5. Ah, I thought you might be well into your growing season- we're just getting started here in Illinois. I am always happy to share :-)