This week begins “Sweet Corn Season” at the Barnes home.
It’s a tradition for our family – a week or two marked by picking, husking and cutting. The tradition concludes with the Barnes family freezer gaining enough corn to grace our table for the next 12 months.
Typically, there comes a point during the process when I recall how easy it would be to buy our corn from the grocery store. Less fuss, less mess – and no mopping! But then I sit down to a meal featuring corn picked and prepared by our own hands – and all such thoughts disappear.
Some things are worth the work. The taste of home-grown sweet corn is one of them!
But there are other benefits to growing our own corn, including the opportunity to recall the source of our food.
This year, the sweet corn was a struggle. A wet planting season caused the corn to germinate sporadically, leading to a late replanting. Stormy winds blew many stalks down before the ears could fully ripen.
Despite that, there was plenty of corn in the garden – testifying to God’s generosity.
Each year, as the corn rapidly fills buckets and slowly fills our freezer, we are reminded of God’s provision for birds and little boys alike (Matt. 6:25-26). With each new freezer bag, we hear God’s promise: “He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
We’re reminded, too, of the simple joy of work.
It’s easy for children today to ignore the satisfaction of work. Electronic devices and labor-saving inventions surround us. Need to cook something? Zap it in the microwave. Need more food? Dash off to the store.
We gain a new perspective on the food that fills our table after husking 10 dozen ears of corn. Paul admonishes us, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thess. 3:10). After husking a few dozen ears, who of us doesn’t echo the Apostle?
Not that Paul’s instruction is unreasonable. We were made to work. It satisfies us, in a way that no amount of leisure and recreation is able.
Our corn preparation provides an opportunity to appreciate the words of Proverbs 6: “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways, and be wise.” Those resourceful little insects seem to live for their work. They work hard in the summer, that they might eat well in the barren days of winter.
What a blessing for our family to prepare food together for the coming season! And what a valuable lesson we learn as we scoop corn onto our plates that we ourselves helped to prepare.
God created us to be stewards of His good creation. He calls us to plant with hearts that trust Him, eagerly awaiting the harvest that He alone can send. He wants us to gather with thanksgiving, testifying that our food comes from God alone.
Not everyone’s life allows them to store for themselves a portion of their food for the coming season. But what a blessing we gain who do enjoy that hands-on lesson.
For our family, “Sweet Corn Season” is a tasty reminder that God has called us to work for our food, to prepare for the coming season, and to rely on Him for every meal.
May the upcoming harvest offer plenty of reminders to you, as well, of God’s generous provision – and of our calling to receive His provision as grateful stewards of His mercy!