But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13 (NIV).
Last night, I did something I really enjoy: I processed 10 bags of pumpkin. Crazy, eh? I processed 10 bags (containing 2 cups of pumpkin puree each) that are now safely ensconced in my freezer. I’ve been doing this for years. Every Halloween, we get one or more pumpkins for decoration and, every year, when we’re done with those decorations, they get processed into food.
The process isn’t difficult (so even I can do it). You cut up the pumpkin, scooping out the seeds. Cut the large pieces into small pieces, put them on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 for an hour or so, until the ‘meat’ is soft. Let the pumpkin cool. When cool, cut off the peel, cut up the ‘meat’ into small pieces, and puree it in a blender (or food processor). I usually add a cup of water (to make pureeing easier), so I empty the puree into a sieve (to let the water filter out). Label bags, measure 2 cups into each bag, and put it into the freezer. For the next year (or more), we’ll have our own pumpkin ready for breads, pies, desserts, and even chili (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).
For several years, I even grew my own pumpkins at our farm in northeast Texas. Since we sold the farm, we’ve had to buy them at the store. To me, there’s something wholesome, something righteous, about growing and “putting up” your own food. When I die, I hope Jesus lets me be a farmer. I don’t know if there’ll be food (or farming) in heaven, but I think it would be the most worshipful, God-glorifying vocation to tend to His creatures and to His garden by farming it. It’s something I love doing.
Imagine doing that for eternity. If you like surfing, imagine surfing forever; imagine Jesus surfing with you (Laird Hamilton watch out). If you like painting, imagine painting with Jesus; Bob Ross watch out. Imagine singing with Him, or cooking, or sewing, or whatever it is that brings you closer to God. Imagine doing that forever as a way to worship and glorify God: by using for Him the gifts He freely gave to you.
That isn’t some figment of your imagination: it’s a promise. Peter says as much. So did Isaiah, who prophesied that God would measure to us what we had measured in devotion to Him. Imagine offering our best to Him here, then receiving immeasurably more in return in eternity. In a new heaven and new earth, they will be ways for us to worship God in all we do.
That includes pumpkins, growing or ‘putting them up’ for food. Don’t believe me? Come see me next fall and we’ll do it again.
For further reading: Isaiah 65:7, Isaiah 66:22, 2 Peter 3:14
Lord God, thank You for the gifts of vocation that I cherish. Help me to use them in worshipping You.
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