This year for Christmas, my husband gave me the gift of time. He got me a pea sheller! I’m not talking about some little gadget that sits on your tabletop and you run a handful of peas through it, hoping that they come out without being smashed.
When it was delivered, we were both surprised at how big it was. He said, “I guess we’ll have to put it in the garage until we can figure out where in the world we’re going to keep it.” This beast with two motors, green-painted wooden slats (that have little holes in them) and can mechanically shell a half a bushel of peas in two minutes or less!
I was THRILLED! Of everything that we grow in our gardens, his personal favorite is black-eyed peas. I think that he might have had a hidden motive. Regardless, considering the fact that it can take two to three hours to hand-shell the same amount, this time-saving device was the best thing that he could have ever given me.
In my head, I immediately began to calculate how much extra time I would have in the upcoming gardening season and what else I could plant. I thumbed through a couple of colorful seed catalogs, and the possibilities seemed exciting and endless!
As we ushered in 2021, I saw a lot of funny memes on the internet about black-eyed peas. As tradition would have it, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is supposed to bring a person good luck in the coming year. Since many people viewed 2020 as the worst year that they’ve ever experienced, silly memes were rampant of people threatening others that they, “Better eat their peas this year.”
Have you ever noticed that when times are hard and people feel uncertain that they will literally turn to anything that they think might be able to offer help? Now, I know that these little internet jokes were just that— jokes. But oftentimes, the thing that makes humor funny is the thread of truth that’s running through it. When people become desperate, they begin to do things that they might not normally do just to find relief.
The world we are living in is groaning, and times are uncertain. Many are scared. Some are wondering if it is going to be possible to make travel plans or feel excitement or hope for the future. Words like “normal” that used to be easy, now are not easy and possibilities seem impossible. As we begin this New Year, let me encourage you with a few of my favorite verses from the book of Psalms:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2).
“I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore, I will call upon Him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:1).
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. Therefore, my heart exalts and with my song I shall thank Him” (Psalm 28:7).
“Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His lovingkindness from me” (Psalm 66:20).
Isn’t it comforting to know that the same God of Gen. 1:1 who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth is still holding His creation in His hands? He has not walked away from it or stopped caring. From our earthly perspective, things might seem out of control, but from His heavenly perspective everything is right on track. We don’t need to seek fortune tellers, card readers or rely on superstitions and traditions. We just need to walk and talk with Him. He loves us and wants to show us everything that is possible for us to accomplish! The peas have no power but with God, all things are possible!
And looking at them, Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).