“Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew? From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?” (Job 38: 28-29 NASB)
In the final chapters of Job, the Lord gives the suffering servant somewhat of a dressing down. At least that’s how I interpret the exchange. Job reminds me of a sassy, rebellious school-age boy receiving a lecture by his father. The answer to all of God’s questions would have to be a basic no. No, I cannot do anything. You, dear Lord, are able to do it all.
In my part of the world, the change of seasons is unpredictable from year to year. All the data confirms spring comes after the last frost, which should occur by a late day in April. But, I’ve learned to hold back before planting. I wait and see. I may purchase my seeds and transplants and keep them in my little greenhouse till I know it is safe. I avoid rushing into my garden because I’ve been sorry in the past—frosted out of fertility.
The grip of blue sky atop a ripe plot of soil, accompanied by a delicious warm breeze, is intoxicating to the point of coercion. The yearn to plant can overwhelm even the most conscientious like a drug sneaked into iced tea. However, my education in planting with the seasons allows me some control in that I have my safe place, the greenhouse, to use as shelter. For fruit trees, I’m out of luck.
Commercial growers have elaborate coverings and spray systems to protect tender blossoms and buds from pending, expected frost. As a humble backyard hobby gardener, I possess no such resources. My poor little orchard has to stand and take it, unprotected and vulnerable to the loss of fertility. Each spring I watch and pray over the timing of the frost, knowing the outcome is entirely in Nature’s hands. The Lord is in control and I am not.
Those years I’ve awakened to the dismal reality of frost on the budding trees, I’ve learned to sigh and accept with humility and great disappointment there will be no pies that year. If the pattern repeats again the following year, I may moan and complain but there will still be no pies. Like Job, I have to submit and accept I was no where to be seen when the Creator of the universe laid the foundations of the earth.
The past few years for me have been afflicted with many untimely frosts. Just as projects have been ready to launch, next steps planned to be taken, and expectations of fruition of great effort, a brutal frost descended with vigor and nipped it all right in the bud. There will be no fruit from my efforts, no delicious aroma of baking pies of success, and no stock pile of baked goods stored for future enjoyment. Just as I’ve learned to do with my orchard, I must wait out another season of loss.
The frost of heaven may have been the manna to nourish and sustain the wanderers. For me, the frost from Heaven has been an opportunity to place myself on a diet from the world and learn that the Lord is my sustenance and His word is my nourishment.
Eventually the frost restrains its painful, untimely occurrence and the Lord will once again allow fruit. There will be pies once more. I remain in my safe house, the shelter of his Hands, as I watch and wait for another run of warm inviting days. Like Habakkuk, I realize that even if there are no buds on the vine and no cattle in the stalls I will rejoice in God, my Savior. He is Sovereign and my strength.