Monday, September 23, 2013

Let God Tend the Garden of Your Heart

Between the past droughts and the busy lives we lead, my flower beds have been neglected. There isn’t much to even call them that. The spring bulbs still bloom but otherwise there are trees in the yard and some shrubs that show color early each year. It’s a nice yard, but it’s just grass and trees. Even the grass has had its share of neglect.

I want to see more color flourishing the landscape. Working for the cooperative extension office, I know what that’s going to require. Having a yard to mow and leaves to pick up is one thing. Pretty simple. But to have flower beds requires more work. I will have to pull weeds, put down new mulch, plant fresh flowers and watch for insects. This is something that is continually done. Oh if weeds only required one attack wouldn't landscaping be easy! If the bugs would just stay away and the rains come regularly and steadily at just the right proportion.

God speaks: flower beds and the Christian life are a lot alike. We are God’s most beautiful plants in His garden. His greatest desire is that we bloom in season, keep watered, stay tender and free of weeds and insects. HE provides for everything we need to be all that we can be and to thrive not just stay alive.

In order for us to be just what He wants and to bloom and flourish in season the weeds of life must be pulled. They have to be taken out so that our roots do not get entangled with them and smother out the blooms and tenderness in our lives.

But we become upset! We often just feel the weeding and working of God in the garden of our hearts, and it hurts! But in the spirit realm God is working to achieve His best – He wants us to be blue ribbon plants. We are His most prized possessions. He even wrote a Gardening Book so that we don’t have to be surprised when we’re plucked and pruned and moved from one bed to another. We just see our dangling roots and our former place in God’s world, but He sees better soil and a more beautiful spot created just for us, free of pests and fresh and new.

Are you feeling the effects of God’s magnificent work in your life? Did you think the little bugs of life were okay but now you see that they were eating you alive? Were you surrounded by grief, worry, fear, rejection, apathy, criticism and more? Those are not good mixes with your life and God wants them gone. Sure it may feel worrisome right now, but when you are settled, refreshed and free of troublesome things you will thrive right where God plants you.

God sees your condition. He knows you worked hard to put down roots and bloom and grow. He sees that weeds came in to choke your very existence and that bugs seek to eat away at your purpose, but He is the Landscape Artist and His plans for your life are beautiful. He has spent all creation preparing life just for you, so that you will thrive in His kingdom and be used to display His glory. He even penned the Word of God so that you will know how to produce much fruit and shine in the light of His favor and blessings.

Oh beloved, Let Him prune, Let Him move, Let Him pick the weeds from your heart and destroy the insects that are eating at you. If you will let Him, He will make you a more magnificent specimen of His love and care than you could ever imagine on your own. This Gardener is no ordinary man – He won’t pluck you up just to see you discarded – He will tenderly gather you in His arms and carry you through the process until you are safely in the exact spot He wants you.

God loves you and He’s for you so you can trust every move He makes and you can trust Him when you don’t even see Him at work for He Is Faithful and True. Now aren't you glad you’re going to flower in His garden for the rest of your wonderful life!

Hosea 14:8 O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from Me.

John 15:4 Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me.

Psalm 121:5 The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

Colossians 1:10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

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