Published 12:43 pm Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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There is a day in late spring that I consider a very happy day. It’s the day when all my wife’s plants move out of the garage and find their summer home outside. I imagine the plants are happy, too. Some of them are leggy and in need of some TLC. My wife and I work on them together. We trim off old, dead leaves. We add soil and fertilizer when needed. Some plants get cut way back, while others get repotted.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

The plants will fill both the front and back porch areas. They get moved around all summer as they will grow bigger and fuller. I love to sit on the porch and read with her plants all around. There is such a wonderful peace being surrounded by her plants. It is a happy day when the plants come out of the garage.

I have also been working out in the vegetable garden. I have everything in the garden except the tomatoes. I know, what’s wrong with me? Between the late cold snaps and just being busy with other things, we haven’t made our many spring trips to the garden centers. We’ll be out there soon; I hear those tomatoes calling.

I want to put up some more fences to discourage the deer from paying us a visit. I haven’t seen them in the yard yet this year, but I am sure they are in the woods. I am also going to have to do some work on the squirrels and rabbits. They need a little discouraging, too. They are both a bit brazen. They will sit a few feet away and eat.

I looked out the window early one morning and saw a baby rabbit scampering around our back patio. I hope he knows that the lettuce growing in a pot is not for him. While I really don’t want to see a hawk take away a rabbit, I wouldn’t mind seeing a few less squirrels in the area. We seem to have an abundance of them right now.

I have been thinking about all these critters that want to eat what I grow. I love to see wildlife outside my window; I just don’t want to see it enjoying my fruits and vegetables. There is a parallel to our spiritual lives. God provides lots of spiritual food for us, but sometimes we allow the enemy to come and steal it.

I can’t be the only one who has sat in church and allowed my mind to wander onto something else. Why is it so easy to be distracted at church? The enemy wants to keep you from growing strong and producing fruit. There are plenty of things to distract us and keep us from the meal that the pastor has worked so hard to prepare for us.

You know why your Bible is covered in dust all week? The enemy has ways of keeping us busy so we don’t have time for reading and building our strength. If we read the Bible, believe it, and find ways to apply it to our lives, then the enemy to our soul will be in big trouble. He will do anything to keep us from cracking open the Good Book.

When we pray we are changing the world around us. The enemy doesn’t want us to pray. If we pray we will tap into unimaginable power. Have you ever fallen asleep while praying? Have you ever started praying and then realized you were stewing about something else? Has your phone ever rung while you were praying? The enemy wants to keep you from bowing your head in prayer.

There are so many things that can easily distract us and keep us from growing stronger and closer to God. There are texts, emails, 24-hour news channels and scrolling through your favorite social media. There is also anger, bitterness, resentment and being offended. The point of all these distractions is to keep you away from God’s presence, His deep love for you and the power He has for you to live a different life.

I want to encourage you to remove the distractions that are keeping you from being in God’s presence. He loves you and wants you to grow stronger by consuming His word and allowing it to grow within you. He wants to answer your prayers, but you have to pray them first. He wants to speak to you through your pastor, so you have to discipline your mind to listen. God wants the seed of His word to produce fruit in the garden of your life. Work with Him so you can bring in a bountiful harvest.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or