"Self Sufficiency" - is, according to the dictionary; "able to supply one's own needs without external assistance", or "having extreme confidence in one's own resources, powers, etc."
For us, it’s a mantra, a goal. A song sung by the homestead and back-to-the-land movements. It means to us, in essence, to remove your dependency from the clutches of the corporate system of grocery stores and nine-to-fives and to rely more on what you can produce in your own backyard and in your kitchen. It has a rather wide meaning and really any level of this “self-sufficiency “ is celebrate-able, in my opinion.
But honestly I don’t like the term at all. I mean, aren’t we, in our Christian walk, supposed to be killing “self”? Turning away from self and becoming LESS self-sufficient?
I’d rather be Christ-sufficient. I know I’m not at this moment, at least not as much as I’d like to be. I think that should be my goal.
As I’ve said countless times, planting a garden is not really all there is to it. Planting prayer, and faith, and hope in Him is what we should be doing. Putting a seed in the ground and “May YOUR Will be done.”, and knowing that God grows things. God makes things productive. The doing is ours, the done is God’s. Our job is to work hard in season, and to have faith in God's promises us-ward.
"So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." 1 Corinthians 3:7
When I was little I asked my Dad, in pure childish doubtfulness, why God didn’t really seem to perform miracles anymore. He pointed at the apple tree outside my bedroom window, which was covered in little green baby apples. He said, “That’s a miracle.” I was dubious. He continued. “It’s not only a miracle that that tree has produced a fruit that is good and wholesome and enjoyable for us to eat, something that is truly amazing in itself, but why didn’t that tree produce peaches? Or apricots? Who or what made it produce apples? Christ did.” I know it doesn’t seem so amazing when I retell it here today but I was so struck, and it changed my thinking so drastically. Because why in the world do we just EXPECT an apple tree to produce apples? Just because we call it an apple tree? Or why does a seed in the ground so amazingly sprout and do such wondrous things as grow and thrive and make squash? I never want to lose that way of thinking. I want to be so awed by God’s amazing work and have a childlike appreciation of the smallest things. May God never let me lose that appreciation, that amazement He instilled in such a young me. I want to see His miracles everywhere I look.
|A hail-damaged strawberry transplant that blossomed anyways. :)|
So I’d like to propose that we change our way of speaking when it comes to describing what we are doing out there in the wee hours, down in the dirt and in the barns. I’d like to say that I am not working to be less dependent (although I know this is true in a sense), I’d like to say that I am becoming MORE dependent. Dependent on His Grace, His Mercy, on Him. Because I think by pulling our stake out of the world, by telling the world that we don’t need their lifestyle to survive, that we are casting ourselves completely on the mercy of Christ. And this doesn’t just mean praising Him when the crops come in and the milk is sweet and the fences miraculously stay together. This also means kissing the rod when the rain doesn’t fall and the lightning strikes and the cheese is a weird pile of something we don’t even want to taste. To say,“Not MY Will, Lord, but YOURS be done.”
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:Yet I will rejoice in the , I will joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18
I believe by taking away the hum of the city and the insurance of the corner groceries, we are making ourselves more vulnerable to Christ and what he would have of us. We can hear Him out here. We are completely open to the voice of Our Saviour, and may we praise Him for his work in us, no matter the method.
May he make me more Christ-sufficient day by day. May my ‘self’ die and may Christ be glorified by our work out here in the middle of Texas Hill Country, according to His perfect Will. May He be glorified by His work in us, and may He be daily more evident to us in the small things.
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9