Plant A Garden

Listen and hear my voice; Listen carefully and hear my words. Does the farmer plow all day to plant seed? Does he continually dig furrows and harrow his [after it is prepared]? When he has leveled its surface, does he not sow [the seed of] dill and scatter cumin, and plant wheat in rows, and barley in its [intended] place and [a]rye within its border? For his God instructs [him correctly] and teaches him properly. For dill is not threshed with a sharp threshing sledge,
nor is a cartwheel rolled over cumin; but dill is beaten out with a staff, and cumin with a rod. Bread grain is crushed fine, Indeed, the farmer does not continue to thresh it forever. Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it, He does not thresh it longer. This also comes from the Lord of hosts, who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great. Isaiah 28:23-29 Amplified Bible (AMP)

As the atmosphere became impregnated with tension from all the news reports last week, I heard the still, small voice beckoning me outside.  “It’s time to plant.  Today, plant a garden.”

Musing, I thought to myself, “This is so like God.”  While most of the world is thrown into chaos, the God of the universe invited me to look through a different lens.

So, I obeyed.

After grabbing my hoe, shovel, soil, and seeds, I dumped bags of manure and other things into my raised beds, mixing and spreading the soil together with the hoe until it filled the boxes.  I then shoved poles in the ground wrapping them all with chicken wire building a fence to protect the precious new growth from hungry deer.  With the soil prepared and the gate set in place, my daughter and I plotted and poked the holes, carefully depositing a seed in each indent in the fresh earth.

In this past week, I have seen the best and worst in people’s faces.

I’ve seen the wide-eyed look of panic in eyes as humanity has scrabbled in search of basic necessities.  Suspicious glances have come my way, as I ventured closer than six feet.  I’ve seen greed rise up in others who stuffed their carts full of things as the elderly stood behind them waiting their turn to forage through what was left.  Who would have imagined in a few short days, our culture would change so much or maybe it’s just unearthing what was already there.

I’ve also seen more gestures of kindness, strangers from a distance asking how you are and seemingly really meaning it, people being more open about their faith in the Lord Jesus, and a general awareness that maybe it’s time for the body of Christ to awake up from a slumbered state.  Family’s have gathered together to worship and pray. Others have reached out to neighbors who they may have never talked to before and offered a helping hand.

Quite honestly, in the past, I would have been dealing with some heavy-duty anxiety and panic attacks by now.  I won’t lie.  There have been a few moments of sucking in a deep breath, and refocusing on who God is and what He says about all this chaos.  His still, small voice has calmed my heart on many occasions, so this crisis is no different.

I’m not downplaying the fear I see in people.  I completely understand it.  It just makes my heart sad.  So many people worldwide have suddenly been thrown in to a state where everything in their lives is shaking.  It seems that for the first time in a long time, people on the whole are forced to stop and contemplate their lives.

In the preparation of the garden, there was some pulling up of weeds, and some rearranging of things that I need to place somewhere else.  In this time, I believe there are some weeds we need to pull up completely, and other things we need to put in a different place, prioritizing things differently.

Personally, God has challenged me to really look at the things I’ve put my trust in.

Quite frankly, it’s been uncomfortable, and I don’t like it.  He’s pointed out things that I have placed my trust in other than Him, made into an idol, and He is constantly refocusing my gaze back to Him.  In that process, He is bringing my heart to shalom, to peace.  I’ve felt held by Him, protected and hidden in His care.

I don’t know how far the effects of this virus will be or what repercussions it may have, but I know who holds my life in His loving hands.  I chose to believe that He is good, that this didn’t catch Him by surprise.

He’s not the author of any sickness.  He always wants to bring healing, deliverance, and help.

What the enemy meant for evil, He will turn around for our good.  Deep down inside of me, this bubbles up like a brook.  I know He’s working for our good, because He is a good, good Father. No matter what the enemy throws our way, God is bigger, stronger, and is moving through this.

Maybe this is where revival begins.  Maybe this is where awakening starts.  Maybe it will begin in our homes, with our families, worshipping together, calling and checking on our neighbors and loved ones, and walking in a supernatural peace when the world is freaking out.

Walking out this past year, without one church home, has taught me one thing for sure.  We are the church.  Everywhere I go, in every place we’ve been led to, Jesus is in me.  I am in Him.  I feel centered in that, strengthened in my faith, knowing that He is my Lord, and He is my working in our behalf.   Church is not a building.  It’s Jesus Christ in us the hope of glory!  It’s time to let that glory shine through us.

For the wide, wild-eyed ones, I want to wrap my arms around you, and speak peace to your troubled hearts.  I want to quiet your fears, but I know the only way those fears can truly be put to rest is to put your trust in Jesus.  He is real, and He really loves you.  He really cares.

Let’s allow reformation to start here, in our hearts.  You are loved.  May God’s love drive out every fear!

“The Garden” by Kari Jobi:

I had all
But given up
Desperate for
A sign from love

Something good
Something kind
Bringing peace to every corner of my mind

Then I saw the garden
Hope had come to me
To sweep away the ashes
And wake me from my sleep

I realized
You never left
And for this moment
You planned ahead

That I would see
Your faithfulness in all of the green

I can see the ivy
Growing through the wall
‘Cause You will stop at nothing
To heal my broken soul

I can see the ivy
Reaching through the wall
‘Cause You will stop at nothing
To heal my broken soul

Oh, You’re healing broken souls
You’re healing, You’re healing broken souls

Faith is rising up like ivy
Reaching for the light
Hope is stirring deep inside me
Making all things right

Love is lifting me from sorrow
Catching every tear
Dispelling every lie and torment
Crushing all my fears

You crush all my fears
You crush all my fears

With Your perfect love
Oh-ohh, with Your perfect love

Now I see redemption
Growing in the trees
The death and resurrection
In every single seed



3 Comments on “Plant A Garden

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