Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? ~ Matthew 6:26
Life is sometimes hard.
Each of us at some point or another will endure hardships in different ways. A priest friend of mine has said on multiple occasions that everyone is either going into a hardship, in the middle of one, or just ending their difficulties. The importance about suffering is how we handle it and the wisdom we gain. I’m going to tell you a personal story of a hardship my husband and I endured.
This is the garlic story.
I am a stay at home mom to my four precious gifts from God. While I was pregnant with my fourth, my husband’s hours at work were cut substantially for a longer time than we had come accustomed to. We have always lived week by week, paycheck to paycheck. We couldn’t afford anything anymore. This, in turn, caused us to be recurring shoppers at local food pantries. I was worried about what I was consuming for our unborn baby as well as what we were feeding our children. This was very difficult for us as we were on a track of eating mostly organic, fresh produce, grass-fed and pasture-raised meats. My husband and I feel that we gained an abundance of humility. We also gained wisdom that we feel we would not have received without this trial in our life. God allowed us to struggle so that we had the realization that we could fully trust in His love and protection for us.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? ~ Matthew 6:25
I tried to let go of my worries after reading the scripture above. God is so good and gives us these special gifts and signs when we need it. He is always present, we just have to be aware and listen.
One day during that summer, I decided to cook one of the whole chickens we had received from the pantry. As I reached for the spices, I realized I was out of garlic powder (a staple in my kitchen). At this point, I broke down. I tried so hard to put on a smile and keep a good attitude for the kids in spite of these financial woes. Not only were we limited to food pantries but we were behind on all the bills. It was a very difficult time for my husband and me. As I spied the empty container that smelled of powdered garlic, I began to cry.
I felt defeated, alone, frustrated, betrayed. I asked my Heavenly Father for strength. I prayed for Him to pull us up from the figurative water we were drowning in.
At that, I found other spices and started our dinner for the evening. I stepped into the backyard where my three boys joyfully played. I sat down and prayed some more, attempting not to reveal the brokenness I had felt at that point in my life.
I prayed the rosary. I asked Our Lady to pray for me to truly let go of my worries as well as for strength.
In this moment of prayer, I happened to glance at our garden area. That year we did not focus on gardening, but rather building a compost. We hadn’t planted any seed. It was just a mess of overgrown weeds, or so I thought.
Something caught my eye…
I stood up and kept my eyes fixed on the one extra tall stalk of green among the weeds. I dug it up. Sure enough, proof of God’s love for the Diedrick family, FRESH GARLIC!!!!
No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
God knows so much better than we ever could. During the trials any of us endure, remember that God is Love. So, when you want to shake your fist at Our Heavenly Father, that’s ok…but remember also to thank Him for this unique chance to grow in your faith, thank Him for choosing you for this opportunity to grow in intimacy with Him.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19