Well, we’ve made it to the end of 2020. Happy New Year! I hope your holiday celebrations have been joyful and refreshing despite probably being smaller this year. At least many of us could meet virtually through video conference calls with our friends and family.
It’s been quite a year, and I have much to be thankful for. This is, for one thing, the year that I finally got this website up and running. While 2020 was certainly a difficult year in many ways, it was a great year for gardening. As many folks had to stay home and some had more time on their hands, they worked on improving their home environment, both inside and outside. And empty store shelves inspired many more to start their first vegetable gardens or to increase their already existing edible crops. I certainly hope this trend continues and will do all that I can to help all these fellow gardeners.
Despite the worldwide pandemic, 2020 was a good year for me and my family. Here is how I summarized it in the update we sent out with our Christmas cards:
It’s been an exciting year of many transitions. In the beginning of the year Stan and Debbie traveled to Taiwan and the Philippines, and thankfully we stayed one step ahead of the coronavirus. (That’s the China Sea behind us in the upper left photo.) In the spring we enjoyed having both boys at home with us as our state went into lockdown. In the summer restrictions were loosened enough for Roscoe and Emily to adapt their plans and still have a beautiful wedding on July 18th. They’re living in Oak Forest, IL. Roscoe is the Pastoral Assistant at Hickory Creek Church in Frankfort, and Emily teaches third grade math in Manhattan, IL. In the fall, Silas returned to Cedarville University, where he gave his senior trumpet recital on Oct. 25th. And now Stan has accepted a buyout package from Ford and is retiring from the insurance business, effective Dec. 31st. Big changes ahead!
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
2020 has indeed been a “year of drought”! Yet it has been a fruitful year, and we thank the Lord for His never-ending grace and mercy. Whatever comes in the year ahead, may we all be like that tree, growing more deeply rooted in the Word of God (Psalm 1:1-3).
The psalm referenced here gives the key, I believe, to being a fruitful tree even in a year of drought: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”
If we draw our strength from the Bible, like the tree gets its nourishment from a fertile stream bed, we can survive troubled times and even flourish spiritually.