I was soaking up the beautiful autumn sun last week, from the middle of a garden bed. It’s one of my favorite places to be. At the end of a session, I can see that my investment of time there has been quite profitable. My freesias have commenced poking their green shoots through the soil and in time, they will evolve into beautiful, fragrant flowers, just as they were created to be. But in amongst the shoots, were hundreds of tiny little pesky weeds, which needed to be removed.
As I sat on the ground with my trowel in my hand, painstakingly removing said weeds, I had a thought: What if I could spray something onto the garden that would eradicate the weeds forever? The thought was quickly followed by another thought, that if I were to engage such a product, there’s a fair chance that nothing else would grow there either, and that would be just terrible. Could I sacrifice the beauty of the flowers, for a garden free of weeds? Hardly – for it would no longer be a garden – it would just be a plot of dirt.
It reminded me a bit of how life is. The cares we face each day can be likened to weeds. They are present; they are plentiful and messy, and we want them to be gone. Problems are a part of life as we know it here and now.
But what might life look like if we were completely free from the issues that cause us angst? I think it’s safe to say, that though the thought of a life like this sounds appealing, it may actually present a whole different set of issues for us. Imagine never needing to seek God’s guidance, help or comfort; how would we be if we never felt the weight of grief or loss, nor shared any concern for the needs and welfare of another? We might have a tendency to become both self-reliant and self-absorbed; arrogant, complacent and short-sighted.
You know, God didn’t create weeds in the beginning. They came later when sin entered the world. They are man’s doing. And in the first garden, there were no cares or concerns; there was no angst; no stress or panic attacks. These too came later, hot on the heels of sin.
My point is this: Life as we know it here can be hard. The reality is that even although there may be windows of joy and celebration, most of us will find ourselves in valleys of grief, worry, and disappointment at one time or another. But our good and faithful God is able to use even these circumstances to help us grow. Even although these were not a part of His blueprint for creation, the Great Almighty Gardener, can cultivate beauty from brokenness. At just the right time, He prunes us; He removes the deadwood, allowing space for new growth in the season ahead. And while it may be hard, and it may not be pretty right now, the things He allows in our day to day lives, in fact, are preparing us for what is to come, whatever that looks like.
Be encouraged. A life free of worries cares and anxiety will be a reality one day, for those who love Jesus, when they will be with Him, forever… But for now, this side of heaven, may I suggest that we get well acquainted with the Gardener, knowing that His plans for us are always good. And remember, when you are up to your knees in fertilizer, this too is a part of the process… preparing you to bloom!
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. – James 1:12
PRAYER: Thank you, Father God, that you walk with us through the highs and lows of life. Thank you that you love us just the way we are, but too much to leave us that way. Help us to become more and more like Jesus, as we allow you to shape and fashion us, for the days ahead. Amen.
Song: Blessings by Laura Story: https://youtu.be/Cd6J6Wgnv4M