At the pumpkin patch, they handed us a paper with clues and a purple crayon for the scavenger hunt.
Follow the clues to places all over the farm and collect the letters. Unscramble the letters at the end and find the answer to this question:
What’s the name of the largest pumpkin we grow here on the farm?
Collecting the letters is the easy part. It’s the putting them back together in a way that makes sense that’s hard.
My husband finds the word “giant” in this mesh of letters. That sounds promising, but we’re still missing two words.
I ask the older man in overalls the question, like I’m just abnormally interested in the breeds of pumpkin.
So, you have lots of different kinds of pumpkins on this farm. What’s the biggest kind you grow?
He smiles and leans down from the tractor: “Oh yeah, lots of kinds. The big giant ones are in the barn.”
I surmise that this is the most information I’ll get out of him.
I move along.
My kids line their pumpkins up on the table so we can pay for them while I ask the lady in the apron about pumpkin varieties, all casual like it’s just a question that has popped into my head for no apparent reason.
Finally I just tell on myself. Here’s the deal. We’re trying to figure out this scavenger hunt word scramble and how in the world are we supposed to know the names of the seeds you use when you plant pumpkins? So can you help a girl out?
She laughs and says, “Whoa, that’s a hard clue. How are you supposed to know that?” Even she has to go and find someone else who knows the answer.
Dill’s Atlantic Giant
Gold stars to my husband for figuring out the “Giant” part.
He says I cheated and we could have figured that out.
There’s no way. Even the nice people at the farm assure me no one would know the answer unless you actually knew about pumpkin breeds—which I do not.
No way could I leave that pumpkin patch with a question hanging over my head like that, though. Cheating or not, I needed the answer, the solid truth to put that question right to rest.
Unanswered questions sit heavy on my soul.
I’d be Nicodemus slipping out into the night to find Jesus and pester him with questions because I just want to understand and make sense of it all. Born again? How does that work? Parables, stories, and metaphors are all fine and good, but, Jesus, I want to know. Can you lay it out all clear and step by step for a muddled, mixed-up girl like me?
I’m a Question-Girl who knows a good question when I see one.
So, I read it in Scripture, how the Israelites whined and complained their way through the wilderness outside of Egypt. They glorified the past. They questioned God.
In Exodus 17:17 it says,
Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord here with us or not?”
Dr. Tony Evans says:
“It’s easy for us to judge the Israelites as we read their accusatory question against God. But I imagine we’ve all asked that question at some point, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?” (The Power of God’s Names)
Is that what it all came down to with them? All of the complaining was really the perpetual search for an answer to the question that was rocking their souls: Are you here with us, God? Have you abandoned us? Are we on our own?
We know the theological, good-Christian answer.
But sometimes I still feel like a lost little girl on a big wide farm with a crayon in one hand and a paper with a mixed-up message on it.
Is the Lord among us or not?
And that’s when we cling on tight to the promise that He is Immanuel, God With Us. It’s the only name that fits in the blanks and that uses all the letters. The only name that can heal the cracks in my shaking foundation and soothe the ache of my wandering soul.
Life in the wilderness for Israel was messy and hard.
Life for us sure is messy and hard sometimes, too.
During my year-long pursuit of the presence of Christ, this month I’ll be ‘Doing Messy Faith.’
Quiet times aren’t always pristine. Prayer doesn’t follow a formula. Life is noisy, busy, rushed…messy indeed.
But God is With Us right there in the middle of it. Life won’t be perfect, but I don’t have to have all the answers to draw near in His presence.
Will you join me this month?
To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below! Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Do Messy Faith’?
- Finding Room to Breathe: A 12-month pursuit of the presence of Christ
- January: Be Still and Know
- February: Pray Simply
- March: Unplug
- April: Enjoy Beauty
- May: Create Beauty
- June: Invest in Friendship
- July: Retreat and Refresh
- August: Learn to Say, “No”
- September: Learn When to Say, “Yes”
- October: Doing Messy Faith
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King