Smashed Pumpkins

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By: Shea Politte

Last fall, after a big freeze, there were more birds than ever all over our front yard. After the temps dropped drastically the week before, my pretty fall pumpkins got soft and mushy. I was headed out of town, so I asked my boys to trash the pumpkins while I was gone. They strategically dropped one pumpkin on the front lawn. Seeds went everywhere. I didn’t know birds liked pumpkin seeds. Hence, the cackling convention in our front yard.

As I was trying to read and get my heart right for the day, I was distracted by the cackling. My thoughts wandered back to those days on the front porch of the ranch house, watching Mamaw and Pampaw enjoy their birds. Though I tried to have the same appreciation for these crow-looking distractions in my yard, I was just annoyed.

Then, the Lord brought this verse to mind again: “Look at all the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they? So, which one of you, by worrying, could add anything to your life?”

The last year had been the most brutal financially, for us and many others, that I could remember. Early on in our marriage, we lived on very little. Life was a lot simpler then. Little boys don’t have the same needs that big boys do. Three teenage boys are expensive but worth every penny. So times had changed, and while I still knew how to live very frugally, I couldn’t understand why God would allow this hardship during this season when the needs were so great.

More than ever before, I had to trust God to provide. At the end of January, I discovered that my income would drop by 50%. I had six weeks’ notice. That was before the pandemic hit. It ended up being about an 80% decrease overall.

I knew God would provide. But HOW? My husband added more odd jobs to help. He was teaching and coaching, but when everyone was sent home for virtual learning, he had more time on his hands. He went to work delivering Chick-Fil-A orders by day and working a food truck by night. He continued to do that throughout the entire summer.

A friend connected me with a job that stretched me in ways I didn’t know I could be stretched. I learned that I have a LOT to learn…and can STILL learn. I learned that God is faithful not just financially but to give us strength in our inadequate seasons. I knew that my dwindling income didn’t catch God off guard.

I learned that even though it felt like we were eating leftover smashed pumpkin seeds, it was God providing for us. Humbling us. Strengthening us. Teaching us. Reminding us that He doesn’t waste anything. He allows things like this for a purpose. And He doesn’t leave us in the middle of the mess to figure things out on our own. We didn’t miss a meal. We didn’t miss a payment. We didn’t miss anything except our pride. And thankfully, He’s chipping away at that every day.

The Potter molding and shaping and cutting away at the clay. That morning as I listened to the birds in the background, I caught a glimpse of Psalm 131, and my soul leaped inside me. “Lord, my heart is meek before you. I don’t consider myself better than others. I’m content not to pursue matters over my head— such as your complex mysteries and wonders— that I’m not yet ready to understand.”

That’s verse one. So powerful for a season like this. I will feast on whatever He provides and know that in His timing, He will give me exactly the level of understanding I need. As it relates to this country, to my current situation, and anything else causing me anxiety.

He’s stirring up humility in me. And that’s what I want. I want to be like Him. I don’t want to waste this season.

“I am humbled and quieted in your presence. Like a contented child who rests on its mother’s lap, I’m your resting child, and my soul is content in you.” That’s verse two. You have to imagine me reading those words with birds feasting on pumpkin seeds on my sidewalk. It is humbling.
The scene quiets my soul.

The God of the Universe allowed my boys to smash a pumpkin and leave some seeds for these cackling crows to eat. He provides for those loud, distracting birds! And He says to us, “Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they are?”

The last verse of Psalm 131 says, “O people of God, your time has come to quietly trust, waiting upon the Lord now and forever.” Isn’t that the total opposite of what the world is telling us right now?

The culture says: Hustle!! Fight!! Push!! Rise up!! Take a stand!! Make your voice count!! And the Bible says: “Quietly trust, waiting upon the Lord.”

“Aspire to lead a calm and peaceful life as you mind your own business and earn your living, just as we’ve taught you. By doing this you will live an honorable life, influencing others and commanding respect of even the unbelievers. Then you’ll be in need of nothing and not dependent upon others.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Our quietness, our calm, our peacefulness…
Our minding our own business…
Our earning our own living as we trust the faithful God of smashed pumpkin provision…
… that’s what the Bible calls an “honorable life.”
… that’s what the Bible says will “influence others.”
… that’s what the Bible says will “command respect of even the unbelievers.”

God has provided. I’m learning that it’s ok to mind my own business, trust the Lord, and watch Him provide in His creative ways. There is so much freedom in trusting Him. Look for the seeds of whatever it is you need. He planted them (or sprinkled them) long ago. He’s not caught off guard by anything that is going on in your life. He’s smashing pumpkins to provide. We can trust Him and rest.