Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

They said on tv last night that the pollen count would be extremely high again today. That means another day of runny noses, watery eyes, and itchy mouths. It seems like I need to tie a box of Kleenex around my neck every time I go out the door.

Pardon this little side road, but I don’t recall ever seeing any Kleenex around the ol’ farmhouse back home at Route 4. Did we not have pollen back then? I’m sure we did. That was before we cut down most of the trees and bushes to build our wonderful shopping centers, malls, and parking decks. But I guess that bandana we carried in the back pocket of our overalls served a multitude of purposes!

I remember the first time I saw a box of Kleenex. Actually it was a little, itty-bitty, cellophane-wrapped pack that would fit very nicely into the back pocket of my overalls. I was on my way to wealth and fortune, at the rate of 40 cents an hour, as a bag boy at the A & P. And this little pack of cut-up tissue paper squares cost a nickel. Goodbye, bandana; hello, Kleenex. The only problem was that I just didn’t look very suave and debonair walking around with my other back pocket full of used tissue paper. But, hey, progress has its price!   

Back to the main road. It seems like the whole world today is covered in that yellow dust. The winds and breezes blow it all over the porch and steps and decks. Speaking of decks, there’s another modern invention. We never had to take a hose pipe and wash the pollen off our deck back home on the farm. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. That was before decks and hose pipes were invented.

But if you’re outside at all these days, we get the sneezin’ powder in our hair (for those who have hair!) and then we bring it in the house on our clothes. You can almost see it as it falls and covers everything in sight.

This might just be my imagination, but as I was runnin’ from the bumble bees and washing down the deck last night, a strange thought came rolling down the dirt road of my mind. It seems to me like the buds on the trees and flowers and bushes just exploded and spewed forth their yellow, dusty, bumble-bee food about three days ago. Well, guess what? Three days ago was Easter Sunday! The day that we clebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the cold dark grave, forever bathing all believers in the Sonshine of His love and grace and mercy.

And, again, this is just me, but I believe that it’s all according to God’s master plan for His creation that He’s allowing the tulips and pansies and daffodils, and the dogwoods outside my window to join in our celebration. It’s like their little buds are bursting forth with their rainbow of colors as their way of shouting their praise and thanks to their Creator for bringing them through another cold, dark Winter into the warmth of the Spring sunshine.

By the way, that’s exactly what happened when God brought His creation back to himself from the darkness of sin through the crucifying death and glorious Resurrection of His Only Begotten Son.

After he saw the Light that day out there on that Damascus dirt road, the Apostle Paul became a great writer, penning over half of the 27 books of the New Testament.

And it was in his letter to some ‘budding’ Christians, “the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse,” that he describes how we should ‘blossom’ for the Lord. Ever since he heard about them, Paul said he had not stopped praying for them to understand God’s will for their lives (Colossians 1:9-14).

And he prayed that so that they (and we) might live a life worthy of Him and pleasing to Him in every way (v.10). How do we do that? Paul said it’s by bearing fruit and growing strong in the power and knowledge of God. And to know God, we have to study His Word so that we can develop endurance and patience with joy and thankful hearts for being qualified for a share of the inheritance of the saints.

In other words, like the trees and flowers, it’s only right for us to seek to please Him by blooming where we’re planted. He sent Jesus into the darkness to rescue us and save us. And, what’s so amazing, He even forgives us for wanderin’ off into the dark to begin with!

So, go ahead and let your blossoms develop into full bloom. Put a smile on God’s face by growing strong in His power and bearing the fruits of endurance and patience. And don’t worry about the pollen. When the bumble bees have all they need to keep the process going, He’ll send the rain to wash it away.

And, along the way, He’s promised to send showers of blessing, too. Let’s all turn to page 264 in our hymnals and sing, or, in my case, hum, the words of Daniel Whittle’s great song about the Christian life. “There shall be showers of blessing, this is the promise of love; There shall be seasons refreshing, sent from the Saviour above. Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need; Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.”