Today is Thursday and it’s absolutely gorgeous outside! The birds are chirping in tune as the breeze blows this amazing dance of colors all throughout my yard. Every flower is in bloom and I am just blown away at God’s beautiful picture today. I then thought about the massive down pour of rain that’s on its way for tomorrow. The sky will be dark, the trees won’t look so graceful and the flowers will sag from the heavy rain. But I thought about what tomorrow represents. The day my savior was beaten and killed for me to have the most beautiful bloom of forgiveness, redemption, dreams and freedom in my life! My step dad has always had a garden full of so many types of vegetables. From peppers, tomatoes, corn to cucumbers you name it. It would be in the middle of a scorching hot day and he would be tilling and pulling up weeds and watering them. I remember once in high school I was invited to a party and my dad told me to go out and pull the green beans up if I wanted to go. I did JUST THAT...I pulled the entire green bean plant (roots and all) up right out of the ground. I had no idea what he meant or how to take care of a garden. I had no idea what cultivate meant! To cultivate something means: 1 : to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops; also : to loosen or break up the soil about (growing plants). God sends us the rain to grow us and to loosen the junk in our lives in order to grow us. We allow our past, and our hidden junk to grow within our hearts and then wonder why we feel so distant or why we feel so numb to the things of God. I am learning that even though storms pound me to the point of tears, or questions and unanswered prayers plague my mind or even interruption’s like a broken ankle seem to be the very things that are cultivating my heart to be more like Christ. It’s also in the middle of all of the chaos that God sends a refreshing rain on my life and on my heart. Just like the green bean story I had NO idea what it meant to pull green beans so I screwed up the entire GREEN BEAN GARDEN! My dad knew how to take care of green beans because it was a daily thing for him. He cultivated the garden and then he would WAIT on the growth. It’s a process and it often hurts to get rid of things in our lives. Just like my dad would spend hours in the HOT sun making sure his garden was ok. God wants to send a down pour into our lives but we have to prepare the field. Why not start with the weeds…
Ezekiel 36:34 (NIV)
34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.
Ezekiel 36:34 (The Message)
33-36 "'Message of God, the Master: On the day I scrub you clean from all your filthy living, I'll also make your cities livable. The ruins will be rebuilt. The neglected land will be worked again, no longer overgrown with weeds and thistles, worthless in the eyes of passersby. People will exclaim, "Why, this weed patch has been turned into a Garden of Eden! And the ruined cities, smashed into oblivion, are now thriving!" The nations around you that are still in existence will realize that I, God, rebuild ruins and replant empty waste places. I, God, said so, and I'll do it.