My Dad and I were preparing our orchards for the worst that night. The weatherman was predicting a severe frost. Our apple trees were in full bloom. As the temperature started to drop, we did our best to protect the blossoms. But the cold was too much. How disheartening to see a year's worth of hope and promise wiped out in a few hours. After the freeze had passed, the worst was confirmed. We had suffered a total crop loss.
We started to prepare for the large loss of income and the continued expenses. I prayed for release from the great disappointment and depression I felt. One of Christ Jesus' statements came to mind: "Judge not according tothe appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). Although there was great loss throughout the orchard, I realized I needed to "judge righteous judgment"—to look at the situation from a spiritual point of view. I needed to look beyond what appeared to be the destruction of God's provision for His children.
Another lesson from Jesus' life occurred to me. I thought about the time that he fed thousands of people with just a few loaves and fishes (see Matt. 14:15–21). He proved that there is no limit to God's care. Numerical quantities—or lack thereof—mean nothing to God. It's what He is able to do for us, despite outward conditions, that makes the difference.
Trusting God's provision is like getting out of bed in the morning and planting one's feet on the floor. We trust that the floor will be there. We never question it. Similarly, when we understand the ever-presence of God's love and faithfully rely upon that love for help, we expect our needs to be met. We need not doubt.
I began to put more trust in God to supply our farming operation and less trust in myself, the weather, or the orchard. I opened my thought to the infinite ways God could meet our needs. From all outward appearances, income from the apple harvest was not going to be the means for paying our bills that season. But whatever the means, it would be forthcoming.
Two weeks later I was inspecting the orchard, and I saw the most amazing sight. I raced to the shop and got my dad. "You won't believe this," I said. I took him out to the orchard. I showed him what I had seen. There were apples on the trees! Little ones, and not very many, but definitely apples. We could hardly believe it.
We called in an experienced consultant. He was as surprised as we were. As we looked closer, new buds were beginning to bloom throughout most of the orchard. There weren't very many, but the sight of just one was enough to have us leaping three feet off the ground.
Two weeks later I was inspecting the orchard, and I saw the most amazing sight.
There was speculation that the blooms wouldn't hold on the trees, that they were weak, and that any apples developing from them would fall off at an early stage because of the frost. I continued to pray to see that whatever the circumstances, God provides for us. Meanwhile, those flowers hung on and turned into viable fruit.
When fall arrived, we harvested a very impressive yield. The apples were larger than usual because of the small number of them on each tree. And to further help the situation, the price for large apples that year was very high. We netted more income from those few apples than we had expected from an entire crop!
Where did those apples come from? How could there be a harvest after that devastating frost?
God's ability to meet our needs is not at the mercy of trees and ground and weather conditions. God is Spirit. Weather is good one year, bad the next. Seasons come and go. But God's ability to take care of us is forever certain.
With God, there is never a loss, only a new opportunity to prove we will never be without when we totally rely on Him. Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy states, "The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares" (p. 574). Those new blossoms were proof to us that right in the face of great loss and destruction, God's care is constant.
The more we trust in God—and less in the outward things that come and go—the more certain we will be of experiencing His abundance in our lives. No matter what happens in the human economy, God, the source of everything we need, is forever intact.
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