Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] Hebrews 13:5 AMPC
I’m sitting here this morning asking the Lord, What is next, Lord? Of course my flesh thinks about all of the seemingly missed opportunities, hopes, & dreams, and then the Lord reminds me of all the flowers, shrubs, trees, jewels and treasures I’ve been privy to. The blessings of His goodness, mercy & bounty are immeasurable.
My mind continues to wander from the thoughts and hopes I had as a little girl sitting in the naval orange tree in my back yard and the conversations between me and God. At the time I didn’t know about Jesus, Holy Spirit and the person of Abba as Father. I think I saw Him through the eyes of the movie I saw about a Catholic Nun.
In this story I remember thinking in the life is a fairy tale version, “she is so beautiful” but she is married to God. She has given up having a husband, children, a house with a white picket fence. How is that possible to love God so much and to give all of that up for Him? You can’t even see God. But, I knew He was the Creator and that you could see what He created, the birds, the bugs, the squirrels, the trees, and the oranges. I was always fascinated by the naval orange. It had a belly button just like me.
The Navel Orange originated from a single tree that was planted in Brazil in 1820. This tree had a mutation, causing two oranges to be produced within one single piece of fruit. The second orange, developing at the bottom of the fruit, opposite the stem, is where the Navel Orange gets its name, as that second orange vaguely resembles a human navel. The secondary orange is of vast importance, because it causes the orange to be seedless.
My brother Doug taught me to peel off the thick outside with my thumbs to get to the big sections on the inside and pop the entire piece in my mouth to avoid the juice running down my mouth. Sometimes this wasn’t possible with the size of the navel on our tree and in spite of getting this distinct chafing from the citrus on my chin, I continued to devour these delicacies.
Navels were seedless so you couldn’t collect the seeds like from other oranges in our yard. Doug also taught me to collect those seeds in the side of my mouth as I was eating until I got to the last section and then I could fire them from my mouth like a machine gun! Rat a tat tat tat tat tat tat….
I knew all about seeds. I knew that some seeds had to be planted at certain depths in order to grow and that you had to water and add fertilizer around the root of the plant or the tree. I would help my dad in our orange grove get fertilizer in the galvanized bucket and use my hand to spread the fertilizer around the base of each tree. Then I would take the water hose and water it.
Navel oranges had to be propogated (a big word I didn’t know then) from the tree themselves and so you couldn’t plant the seeds in the ground like you could watermelons, greens, tomatoes and other fruits and plants.
When I asked God about this He said, “Pray, Plant, Feed & Water, Prune and Harvest.” I could understand the plant, feed, water, prune and harvest, but “PRAY.” God was teaching me as a little girl about prayer and how important it is to put this first, especially if I was going to fulfill the destiny and dreams that He had for me. He created the earth for them to enjoy…
As a child God taught me before ever reading the Bible, going to church, or having someone witness to me that He is our Creator and I am His Creation. Each person comes into this world and is given a choice to believe this is true or not. This is called faith. I can either accept this truth or spend my life disputing it. But, one of the first things I have to do is trust that God is real and that He doesn’t lie. I have to partake of this fruit in order to enjoy it. God created the orange, and then He gave man the ability to actually improve on our ability to enjoy it without seeds. But you could ask my daddy sometimes it is a lot easier to propagate and trust what man does, than to have faith in God that a planted seed is going to come forth in it’s due season. Some seeds lay dorment for years.
Another scene in the nun movie I watched was the nun took a vow of silence for a year. This was so she could pray, talk and listen to God. I found this even more of a challenge for me since I was the child whose “tongue was loose on both ends,” as my daddy would say.
I believe this was when in my heart of hearts I knew God was wooing me to Him in a close and personal way. In my child’s mind I took it as an invitation to always be able to come to Him to pray, talk, listen and be willing to obey. I took it as a vow between us that He would always be there for me. The Creator of the Universe wanted a relationship with this little farm gal from Sanford, Florida. Little did I know how important this choice would be for me, my children and their children to come! God never asks us to give up anything that isn’t for our own good.
Pray, Plant, Feed & Water, & Harvest