By Brenda Black
The ability of a raccoon to know that my sweet corn is two days from perfection is uncanny. When I discovered the two ears tested and stripped from their six-foot stalks after the first night of invasion, I was slightly intrigued and a bit frustrated, but not too troubled. I figured a couple of pie tins swinging in the breeze and a bright yellow raincoat on a piece of rebar would keep the burglars at bay. Then came the second morning after a night of their garden dancing and dining near my tin-pan band. And it became WAR! A dozen ears demolished and as many stalks laid low. With ears still clinging, I had all the evidence I needed to call in the cavalry.
My garden this year is one of the most beautiful and fruitful I've ever produced. Every weed, every crumb of earth, every sprig of green pulled, turned or planted by hand – my hands. Blistered and calloused fingers and feet marked with a flip flop tan are proof of the hours spent tending my little patch of wonder.
My husband who has praised my efforts admirably was nearly as troubled as I over the corn field destruction. If I had a trumpet, I would have blown it as that man set out on his noble mission to guard my castle garden and his lady with valiant determination. Three strands of hot wire and an electric charger went up in a couple of hours – not just around the corn, but the whole green kingdom! The following morning I awoke to find all stalks, tassels and ears intact. The garden queen was quite happy.
As I surveyed the grounds, I pondered our two approaches to battle. While I searched for shortcuts for a solution, Alan attacked it with the best wall of protection. His method proved that some things are just worth fighting for. That man does love his corn, and maybe me just a little.
In God's kingdom, we often suffer loss to the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy. We can try silly tricks to outwit the enemy and find ourselves just amusing him and feeding his fury. Satan and sin are real threats that demand determined combat. Instead of taking shortcuts, we must build the fence tall and make it dangerously hot to touch. It's called a hedge in old world vernacular, but it's purpose is timeless: Protect the harvest!
Letters from the apostle John were filled with good advice for building a wall of protection to keep the good fruit in and the thieves out. Through his writings he intended to share the joy of fellowship; to help believers avoid sin; to warn them about deceivers and to assure them of eternal life. He wanted believers to grow in obedience and love and to know that God would protect them from the devil's evil intentions. In the closing words of his first letter, he clearly delineates the boundaries between residents of the kingdom and the great deceiver.
“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one does not touch him.” (1 John 5:18)
Though I'm married to a noble man who strives to protect me and the things that matter to me, it is my King and Savior who guards eternally. I am so very thankful for two great defenders and an electric fence.