Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lessons from the Garden

Post-revival recovery, (n.):  The week after a week- long revival.  It differs from a typical week in that, albeit with a joyous spirit and an extra spring in the step, muscles relax from wrestling children in the pews every evening, one must go to 3 stores to replenish all groceries, and you are doing 2 weeks’ worth of laundry instead of 1. Much of which needs ironed.

Oh, but SOOOOO well worth each and every effort!  Sure did have a great time in the Lord last week!

So I start an “Amusing Grace” blog, and I have nothing amusing on the first post.  Guess what?  Nothing amusing today either!  It is just that when I learn something from the Lord, it is so much more exciting to me than my crazy existence.

Today I am thankful that the Holy Spirit is my teacher.  When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure in what I call the “Jesus Loves Me” part of the scriptures----John 14 thru 16------ He told them in John 14:26:

               But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name,

                he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever

               I have said unto you.”

Sometimes Jesus taught his disciples in very dramatic ways (i.e., walking on water, feeding the 5,000).  Other times it was through the mundane, ordinary details of life----like in sowing or fishing.  Which are no less miraculous----it is just that we have grown so accustomed to them that we oftentimes fail to see the very hand of God that designed it ALL to work in harmony and to be reflective of Him.  The creation, a Godly marriage, true church unity----these are all facets of life where there should be trouble and strife due to the complex nature of the elements in each.  But to me it is as though God designed them all to be intricate and complicated, so that when something so diverse can come together with such a magnificent harmony, it can only point to a majestic God who made it so.

And so I was tending to my garden (don’t I just sound like Laura Ingalls?), enjoying a lesson from the Lord.  I will do my very best to paint in words the picture laid before me.   

If you know me at all you have probably realized, either through observation or my confessions, that I am not the world’s most self-disciplined person.  If you, say, wanted to clean out your garage that is filled with junk, I am your cheerleader.  I’m coming over and making sloppy joes, and I would figure out how to turn your broken tire iron into valuable scrap metal, and which scrap yard you should take it to.  I would help you clean the first day and tell you how fantastic said garage will be one day.  You would be able to see the Garage Mahal in your mind’s eye----clean, painted, and organized in that expensive TLC way.  I’m your girl for motivation, and I really sincerely mean what I say. 

But on day 3, when it is hot and you are left with a stack of papers to painstakingly sort through----this cheerleader has LEFT THE BUILDING.  Exit, stage right.

My dear husband always tells me this quote by some famous dead guy, “Every success has a beginning, a struggle, and a victory.”  In this Oreo, I don’t want the cream of struggle.

You cannot garden this way.  Trust me.  I have several years of hopes and dreams that shoot up like a rocket into the sky, only to come crashing down in a field of weeds and choked out green tomatoes.  But this year is different.  God has allowed me to truly realize the benefit of a principled, self-disciplined existence. And though I am taking baby steps, I am moving forward.

Back to my lesson.

Our Christian walk is like a garden.  And the Christian life, to bear the most fruit, requires daily care and labor.  When the plants first go in the soil it is an exciting time filled with promise and expectation of a great harvest.  And that is true, if the garden is tended to, laboriously and without fanfare, in the day to day duties of June and July. Not too many people applaud the weeding and watering.  But you will “reap in due time, if ye faint not.” The weeds come up quietly and slowly at first, and then if left alone will encroach all over the ground, and shoot up past the plants until the true plants are so covered that the light can barely get in and the water just touches the root enough to keep the plant alive.  The fruits of those plants are scarce, small, and usually diseased.  Fruit, yes-----but just enough is produced to discern the plant from the many weeds around it.  The plant is almost completely camouflaged in a sea of tares.

If you are going to pull the weeds at this point, you must know what a weed is and what a plant is.  And the weeding will be very, very, very difficult.  You will work long hard hours in the hot sun tearing out each weed by your own hand.  Simultaneously, you must be watering the plants several times a day to promote their growth.  And in the end, your efforts will reap a harvest.

Sister, are you studied enough to know what the weeds are (the works of the flesh, Galatians 5) in your life? Have you been in contact with the Lord and asked Him to show you the weeds? Can you get into the Light in prayer, or are you too covered up by the dark shadows of the tares?  Are you willing to pluck those distractions, sins, and sometimes even relationships (“evil communications corrupt good manners”) in your life out by your own hand, because you would rather produce fruit for the Master than to be camouflaged by the world?  The rototiller of the spiritual garden is repentance. The light is Truth.  And the water is the fellowship of the Lord.

Are you tapping into your supply of living water, through prayer and meditation, on a daily basis? 

When you do these things, you will begin to produce fruits. . . fruits of the Spirit.  And you will GLADLY trade willy-nilly, haphazard spontaneity, and your right to do things the way that you want to do them, for a disciplined, principled life in Him. 

Because there is NO thing in this world that can ever satisfy like Jesus. And anyone who has ever truly been saved by God’s grace can attest to that.

Lord, show me the weeds in my life.  Give me courage and strength to remove them, to trust in you, and to serve you in the mundane.  I want to be a fruitful vine in your vineyard, bearing fruits of Your Spirit and the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

Have a wonderful week!

1 comment:

  1. Great job! I am loving this blog!