Chestnuts

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire.

Jack Frost nipping at your nose.

Not quite yet,

 but I must be prepared.

I should wear a hard hat and leather gloves when I walk out of our door. It is chestnut season. The nut is wrapped in a prickly casing that makes porcupines look benign. Their spines can even penetrate shoes. The green-brown spheres fling themselves off the large tree by our deck with the abandon of trusting children.

It is time to take control of the nut’s desire to share their wealth with our gymnastic squirrels and my ravenous grandchildren. Roasted, flavored chestnuts are a treat. And free, not counting the Band Aids and the triple antibiotic used on my fingers.

Ever feel that way? That life is tossing hand grenades your direction? Many of those who have gone before us have had to juggle things we’d duck. “I have spoken these things to you so that you shall have peace in Me. You shall have suffering in the world,” said the Master. He also told his disciples, “but take heart, I have overcome the world.” Aramaic Bible in plain English.

Matthew 10:38-39 “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow Me on the narrow road, then you are not worthy of Me. To find your life, you must lose your life—and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”    

We are gleaners in God’s fields. Reaping the harvest takes the right equipment from leather gloves to the wisdom to know when to pick the fruit or, in this case, nuts. I actually let them tell me. When the chestnuts plop in front of me I know I can dig out the shells for roasting.

This, of course, is when the analogy breaks down. But, do we know when hearts are ready to hear the words of the gospel? When the fields are ripe for harvest? When sharing His grace to others, I’ve been stabbed by their words, been forsaken, betrayed, cheated, and robbed. Yet, I’ve seen God’s hand of grace through it all. Can I offer to those who flee from the word Christ that God will be with you through the pain in our world? That He alone offers hope?

May this be a season of reaping the harvest of souls searching for peace in our troubled world. As you dodge the ‘nuts’ and the fallout from their ‘attack’, may His grace be evident and may you walk in His love.

The seasons rush upon us.

As usual I’m not ready.

The silk arrangements are in place,

My tea cup is filled,

But, is God in my haste

To plan ahead and embrace

The coming of winter?

And what does winter hold?

Peace

As icy winds rattle the bare trees

Or fear

When the unknown knocks at

My door?

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