It is amazing to me. The moments I do the most thinking, the times I write out the most thoughts, when I eagerly pour my heart and soul out to the Lord--is usually when I have gotten little to no sleep. I do not know if my words make sense in these moments or if the thoughts are full or put together. Yet in my complete exhaustion, I still find no rest because the Lord usually hides a good lesson in these sleepy-eyed days.
Gardens. This is what I've been thinking about.
I have always loved playing in the dirt, being outside, yanking out weeds...it reminds me of Little House on the Prairie. I think about how much God must love playing in the dirt too. He must love gardens. They show up at important moments.
In the beginning...
"Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden [delight]; and there He put the man whom He had formed..." (Genesis 2:7-9 AMP)
Eden...delight. What a delight it must have been to have perfect communion and one on one time with God. To walk, hear Him call us by name, and be all joy in the presence of the Creator. He delighted enough in man to allow him to walk openly and freely about.
We take freedom for granted. Always wondering what it would be like to be over there...on the other side. We chain ourselves to the wild ideas and stunt any growth that could take place right where God intended to plant us.
I think about how much life is in a garden. How much beauty, freshness, newness, colors, life, oxygen, peace, placid pure innocent sweet light can be found walking through a garden.
Jesus was able to pray out in a garden, sweat drops of blood pouring His heart out. We find connection in the hideaway peace places of a garden. Is it because that is where we were always intended to be?
So what does this have to do with us? How does it apply to the ordinary of today? A friend recently asked how we can be sure to live and not just survive. I've wrestled with that question before. I do not know what the exact formula or best answer is.
One lesson I have learned this season: Sometimes we spend so much time searching for answers when the Lord just wants us to search for Him. I get preoccupied with whether I am making the right decisions and choices that I forget how to be intentional about my seeking of Him. Remain, Abide, Dwell, Embrace Him. To stop struggling to break away. We find life in Him.
"I am the Vine, you are the branches...joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing..."I've loved you the way my Father has loved me...If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love. "I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy...This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you...Put your life on the line for your friends...I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking...No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.
You didn't choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. "But remember the root command: Love one another." (John 15:5-17 MSG)
I made it through wrestling season...I lost. I was broken. And now we have come to Spring. Along with Spring comes the yard work...the heart work. God the vine...the main source of growth and life. Am I connected? Is there any fruit growing? God has a lot of gardening to do.
He is always calling our names. Calling us back to where we belong. In the garden of our hearts He wants to dwell, have one on one communion and walks. He still delights in us enough to chose us. To pursue us.
I love this moment--"On saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing [there], but she did not know (recognize) that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you crying? For Whom are you looking? Supposing that it was the gardener, she replied, Sir, if you carried Him away from here, tell me where you have put Him and I will take Him away. Jesus said to her, Mary! Turning around she said to Him in Hebrew, Rabboni!--which means Teacher or Master" (John 20:14-16 AMP)
Jesus called out her name.
"But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1 NASB)
He knows our name.
"For I am His and He is mine."
A gardener..constantly at work. So many weeds to pull and twist and throw out. Grow where He has planted you.
Will we wither and die in apathy? Or will we connect to the constant stream of life? We are redeemed, chosen, called by name, can be given full joy, called a friend by the Lord...will we trust Him? Trust the vine? Not just survive but live and thrive?
Let Him be the Gardener.