Fried Green Tomatoes

July 29, 2021 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By DiAne Gates –

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope” (NAS Jeremiah 29:11).

I decided to grow tomatoes this summer. I visited the nursery, picked out varieties of tomatoes, and took them home to plant. I gave them a drink of water, and dreamed of eating tomatoes in sixty days.

Each day I gave them water and inspected the new growth that appeared overnight.

Until the first worm appeared.

I squashed the yucky creature and mourned over the sculpted bite marks in the leaf.

This routine continued ‘til tiny green lumps replaced yellow blossoms. I licked my lips, anticipating those homegrown delights.

Sunny days transformed the tiny spheres to large and green, each one hanging on their stalks and changing color as they ripened. I counted the days, envisioned salads garnished with tomato wedges, or sliced tomatoes sprinkled with basil and goat cheese. My taste buds danced a jig of anticipation.

Then, one morning, I walked into the garden as the sun cleared the treetops. Would this be the day?

I gasped.

One lovely tomato hung sideways, gaped open, and dripped juice on the leaf below. Hungry ants gobbled breakfast while a mockingbird sat in the tree above, screeching at me for interrupting its breakfast, intent on stealing what was mine.

I’d show him.

I plucked the maimed fruit and tossed it away. That bird swooped in as if it was the last particle of food on the planet. Through the day I peered from every window to be sure he contained himself to the castaway fruit. But yesterday, he returned and pecked three more of my delicious-darlings.

I raced to the closet where the Christmas ornaments waited for next season, grabbed a box of shiny red balls, dug a roll of wire out of the drawer, and cut pieces to thread each scarlet oval. I dashed back to the garden and tied them onto the tomato cages, hoping to fool the bird with fake red globes.

While I was gone, that bird pecked holes in another ripening tomato.

These tomatoes would never make a salad. But the taste of fried green tomatoes sashayed through my mind. Ah ha! Even though the fruit was mangled, I could repurpose them into a delectable delight.

My plan changed those damaged tomatoes into a scrumptious meal just like God uses broken, battered, blemished people to accomplish His plan. We are created in His image and are His treasures. Though we bear the bruises and welts of sin, He loves us and knows the plan He purposed for our lives.

Like that rascal mockingbird, bent on gobbling up my tomatoes, Satan eyes us, waiting to subvert God’s plan and destroy us.

Jesus stands ready to answer our cries. He will rescue, cleanse, and set us back on solid ground. God’s love is deep and wide and He will transform us into the image of His Son. We are the object of His mercy and grace. No scar of sin is beyond His ability to forgive and heal.

My Mama said, “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest there.” We have a defense against Satan by placing our faith and trust in The Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s your choice. Run to Jesus when Satan lobs flaming arrows or allow this enemy to build a nest in your mind, deceive your heart, and destroy your soul.

I’m on my way to the garden this morning. Did those red Christmas balls solve my problem or will there be more fried green tomatoes on the menu tonight?

About Diane Gates

DiAne writes and illustrates for children, leads a writer’s group for North Texas Christian Writers, and facilitates GriefShare recovery groups. Her books include Arnold The An Who Wouldn’t Be An Ant, won first place in the Children’s Division at North Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2010, and Roped,a middle grade novel, won first place in the Children’s Division at North Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2011. A devotional article also won second place award at the 2011 NTCW Conference. A devotional series entitled The Master’s Plan is a WIP, and a devotional will appear in The Secret Place in 2012. Moving the Ancient Boundaries
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