I am writing a devotional to be included in a book being compiled for distribution for my sister-in-law, Robin’s, Women in the Word ministry seminar in April. Tara will write one, too and she was way worried about trying to come up with 300 words (it is to be between 3-400 total), while I, on the other hand, have been agonizing about getting rid of words.
Because I am in the garden mood, currently, I decided to use a blog post from last June as a jumping off point and have managed to take it from 569 words to about 429 and I just cannot seem to go lower. Each time I would ruthlessly rip one sentence and delete, I would think of something else to add. Here is where I have landed and I think I will go ahead and submit it to the editor. She may now do with it what she will. Be careful, please – these are my words, and I love them (t-hee)…
Fire in the Garden
Read: Galatians 6.7-8
Excitedly leaving winter behind, the seeds are planted according to package directions at the right depth after the final frost date, assuring us they will sprout in 7-10 days. You watch, you wait…two weeks – still nothing. You begin to believe something has gone wrong, that the cooler-than-usual nighttime weather has destroyed the promise. You consider running to the store for another package of seeds, concerned about the time you have lost for the growing season. Will there even be time for a harvest now, you wonder? Another week goes by and the barren soil just lies before you. You resign yourself to running to the nursery to pay too much for established seedlings. You don’t see any other choice.
But before you can get there on that blazing-hot and sunny day, one glance at the patch of garden where disappointment has been and you spot the tiniest of green specks. And look! All over: the most fragile and minute seedlings are emerging – just as you had planted them. They have arrived! They are here in their glory! Hope has not been lost.
What the good soil and tiny seed could not do alone, what watering and watching did not produce immediately, the intense, piercing heat of the sun (unlocking the moisture beneath the soil’s visible crust) rises, softening that seed. And just like Jesus, from the tomb on the third day, risen! Indeed!
Sowing the seed of God’s Word into our lives and homes and standing on His promises does not always bring the instant results we are looking for. We hide His Word in our hearts, we meditate on it. We allow ourselves to be washed by it. Yet we are devastated at the barrenness in our lives in certain areas. An unbelieving husband or prodigal child creates unbearable pain. Health issues and financial stress deplete our hope.
There are variables in sowing and reaping. Some seeds seem to remain latent, yet the promise of reaping what we sow is not diminished in the waiting.
Sometimes it will take a very hot day in the furnace of affliction to become the defining moment, the proof we need that He remains faithful and His Word is true. In the fiery brilliance of distress and the cry for relief, under the white-hot flames of suffering, we break-through. In seed-shattering brokenness – new life! His Word confirmed!
He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. If you sow to please the Spirit, you will reap the green, life-giving things of the eternal, variables notwithstanding.
Scatter seed. Sow. Believe it – you will reap!…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Final frost date is May 10 (this blog post has 610 words…Now more)