The calendar in North America states spring starts in a couple of weeks. South Florida, however, has to be different. First, our “winter” is more like spring than winter. It is like Florida got attached to the Continent to add a bit of the sub-tropics to North America. There are few areas of the United States, that reach as far south as Florida juts into the Atlantic Ocean.
So two weeks before the “official” start of “gardening season” in the U.S., here in South Florida, summer has started with humidity and 80 degree temperatures. The sniffles throughout town can attest to the fact that the trees are blooming! And gardeners are rushing to finish their plantings for Spring 2022. Soon it will be too hot for the seedlings.
Remember how I mentioned the warm wet winter caused my mango tree to bloom early? Then a winter storm blew off most of the blooms. My father gave me the mango tree for my birthday about 10 years ago. Some years brought in a good amount of mangoes and other years brought in very few. Usually a low crop is because of losing the blooms to either drought or sudden weather changes. I thought this would be a low yield year. I’ve never gotten a bumper crop, but there may be hope.
Last summer we had a tree professional come into tame our oaks. Part of the work took out one Oak tree on one side of the Mango and trimmed the Oak on the other side. My little mango began to grow upward. Yes, about 10 feet is little for a ten-year old mango. It is now approximately 15 to 20 feet tall. This may be why we are seeing this phenomenon in my mango tree. The little mango is full of blooms! Even with baby mangos on the tree!
I’m watching something I thought would never happen with this tree. A possible double harvest. I have seen it happen with bigger mango trees. The 50 to 60 footers can easily produce two harvests. Is this God’s way of telling me he will provide for my family as the supply chains fail? That He provides despite my clumsy and failed attempts at gardening? Is this a sign that God is in control?
I don’t know yet if this will happen, with South Florida weather, there are a lot of “what ifs.” If I watch and hear the news, I need lean on the Father, otherwise, there is no hope. In watching my little mango bloom again, I wondered what God wants me to do in this mess our world finds itself in. The Holy Spirit elbowed me, tend the garden.
Well, I thought, I gain nothing if I do not tend to what the Lord has provided. Then He reminded me of Jeremiah’s instructions to the captives in Babylon:
4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord. [Jeremiah 29:4-9]1
Rereading this passage, I felt like a captive in my home. I wondered if my dream to move to the mountains will ever happen. Yet, in Jeremiah’s instructions to the captives he encourages us to live life and pray for peace. No matter where we are, don’t give up on living and talking to God. Whether it is spring or summer My little mango hasn’t stopped living and neither will I.
Please pray with me:
Lord, thank you for the life you breathe into us. We find ourselves struggling against the world. Like the mango, we bloom in faith that our fruit will provide nourishment in a time of fear, turmoil, and evil. Even when I don’t like my situation, the choices our leaders make, or where I live. You have placed me here for a reason. You and I walk this path together. I will follow Jeremiah’s instructions and continue to sow and harvest. I will love my family and care for my home. We seek peace in the places where You have caused us to be carried away captive. Lord, we pray for peace in our homes, cities, countries, and the world You created. Please bless us with peace in our communities. I will shut out the noise from the world’s prophets and listen for Your voice my Beloved. And I will not move until You say, “go!” In Yeshua’s name, amen. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.
On this warm, muggy day in South Florida, I send prayers of peace for you in whatever you face today,
1All scripture is from the New King James Version: Prophecy Study Bible New King James Version, Editor John C. Hagee © 1997 by Thomas Nelson, a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.
2 Please, remember I am not a theologian! This is from my own private discussions with the Lord, study, and experiences. You may see something I do not. That is okay. Let the Lord lead you. Ask Him questions and discuss this with Him. He is faithful to lead and guide us. Just like you, I am searching for wisdom and understanding.