Isn't it amazing that the Lord of all the earth, the heavens, the universe, still speaks to us personally?!? Isn't it amazing that we can have a thriving, growing relationship with Him?!? I'm so excited when I remember that and let it sink in.
Yesterday, I spent a lovely afternoon at my cousin Sally's house here in New Jersey. She and her husband Bill have created a beautiful garden. It's lush, it's natural, it's creative. It's healthy, it's growing, it's inviting (The photo below is NOT their garden! I don't have a photo yet but I didn't think this post would be complete without one and this one resembles Sally's. When I take a photo of their's, I will replace the one below!). They also have a pool so it was great fun to spend the first day of the heatwave (98 degrees) there. I took a break from the cold water to walk around the garden.
While I was exploring, I found myself praying a prayer I have many times before - "please Lord, help me not to envy others." Because often when I am in a warm, family-friendly home or a lovely garden, I wish I had one of my own. And I wonder if I ever will. So I am on my guard to quickly take this desire to the Lord, to admit it to Him but also guard my heart against envy. I want to be content with the life He has given me at every step and stage.
But this time, God was so kind to take me beyond mere contentment . . .
As I looked around this beautiful yard, the Lord showed me that I am working on a garden of my own. My darling boys are the garden I am working in and the harvest has the potential to last for eternity!
Wow! What an amazing thought. God is using me to do the hard, tiring, unglamorous work of breaking up unhealthy soil. To do the hopeful work of planting seeds that are deep enough they won't blow away. To do the steady work of watering so that strong, deep roots take hold. To do the tedious work of pulling weeds that sprout up again and again. To be on guard against the little foxes that spoil the vines. To work hard and faithfully so that beautiful, healthy fruit grows in this garden. Eternal fruit.
I don't need to envy anyone else's garden.
I have often prayed since I first became a Christian that I would be a tool in God's hands that He can use however He wishes. Who knew I'd be a garden tool!?
(PS: In NO way do I mean to imply I am working in this garden alone! God is using many other "tools" (people!) in my boys' lives! And He is the Master Gardener who invites us to work with Him!)