So Much Work For So… Much Gain?

I think my favorite thing about our house is the front porch.  The house faces east and these early August mornings have been cool and breezy.

Chris has been diligently collecting the harvest from our summer garden on a daily basis (or almost daily, since it’s slowed down a bit here at the end of the season).  The Lord is good and we have had a bountiful first year!  As the tomatoes have slowed down, the peas have picked up.  The last couple of weeks we’ve been throwing the pods in the refrigerator until we find the time to shell and freeze them.  That time came this morning.  I gathered all the pods into a bag and baby girl (who I’ll refer to as K from now on) and I headed outside to our favorite spot–the front porch.  We don’t have any rocking chairs yet, but the view is just as sweet from our camping chairs.


I started shelling the peas and putting the empty pods in the chair next to me, while K would move them to the next chair over.  After we sat there for a little while, I looked down into the bowl in my lap… “So much work for so little gain!” I thought.  And then I stopped.  I looked out into the front yard with the years-old tree.  I felt the breeze on my face.  I saw my little girl completely content as she played with empty pods.  It was then that I realized: God’s design for the harvest doesn’t just give us food–it gives us time, fresh air, conversations, memories…


My mom recently posted this on Facebook:

“As I’m sitting here at my desk at work this afternoon, listening to the distant rumble of thunder, I am reminded of my childhood. Hot, humid summer afternoons sitting on the screened porch of my grandmother’s house shelling peas and butterbeans, and listening to the distant thunder and waiting for that late afternoon summer shower to make its way to the farm. I remember the sounds and the smell of rain in the air and watching the clouds roll in bringing much needed rain for the crops. Just listening to it hit the roof and watching as it washed away the dust – the coolness in the air right before it stopped. A much simpler time, a slower time, a precious time for which I will forever be thankful!”

I think you could say that she got a lot more out of those pods than peas.


In our instant gratification, convenience-driven society, it can be really easy to think that planting a garden, watering, weeding, harvesting, shelling, blanching, freezing is an awful lot of trouble when you could just go to the store and buy a bag of peas.

Consider the possibility that it’s about much more than peas (or tomatoes or eggs or meat), but maybe it’s about experiences.  Maybe it’s about the lessons that you learn about God and about yourself in light of who He is.  Or the time you spend with your family.  Or the fresh air.  Or the knowing exactly what journey your food took to get to your plate.

So much work, and yet because of God’s grace, so much more gain than I could ever imagine.