Saturday, May 31, 2014

Gardening Lessons

My husband and I, with the help of his father, have planted a garden and are praying for the Lord to produce crops from it.  I think my husband and his parents are trying to completely transform me from a city girl to a country girl.  I think I kind of like it, though.  I like the freedom to plant the crops we choose on our land and the satisfaction that comes from watching the Lord use His blessings, like our land, to provide for our family.  I like it, too, that He is allowing us to be part of that tend the garden and watch Him work through it.  Our garden adventure has been fun, although I never knew how much labor was involved.

Today, as I was pulling grass and weeds out of the garden, my soon-to-be 4 year old asked if she could help.  I said, "Sure!" and pointed her to some grass growing at the edge of the garden.  She was satisfied pulling the grass at the edge of the garden for a while, but as she watched me walking in and through the garden to pull grass, she wanted to join in.  Maybe it was because she felt somewhat insignificant just pulling the grass and weeds at the edge, or maybe it was because she wanted to be in the middle of the action.  She wanted to dive in and be fully involved with me, doing what I was doing and going where I was going.  However, I couldn't let her because this is my first garden and I am very overprotective of it, probably out of insecurity!  But, I did not feel that she was educated or experienced enough to not walk on the vegetable plants in her quest for stray grass and weeds, or to not pull up the plants, mistaking them for weeds, so I had to tell her she could not walk into the garden.  She did not whine or pitch a fit; she was okay with my answer, but soon got bored and walked away.

What she doesn't understand yet is that the longer she hangs around the garden watching Mommy and Daddy tend it and the longer she practices weeding the garden in the areas we designate for her, the more experienced she will get, which will prepare her for the "big" and "important" work of tending the middle of the garden.  Immediately, when my daughter got bored and walked away, I felt the Holy Spirit's conviction...How often am I that way?  How often do I want to do the "big" things for God and to get right in the middle of something big He is doing, without being patient in the training?  I can't expect to be prepared for the big stuff if I get bored during the practice sessions.  I want my daughter to be able to help us IN the garden; similarly, our heavenly Father wants us to do big things for Him and be involved in the action, doing what He's doing and going where He's going, but there is a time that we need to learn, train, and practice before He can let us do those things, before we will really be prepared for the things He has planned for us.

In my own life, in the daily grind, in the seemingly insignificant acts and conversations that make up my days, I need to be participating in them with all that I have.  I need to be thankful for the small things, thankful that God might be preparing me for something bigger and seek to use those things for His glory.  I also don't need to get bored and walk away.  I need to keep working, striving, working for the Lord and not for man, as Colossians 3:23 encourages me to do.  Then, I will be ready when the Lord leads me to bigger things.  But what if bigger things never come?  I truly believe that when we are thankful in the small things and look to Him to use the small things for His glory, we are completely and truly content.  We are happy, thankful, and blessed because God is using us for His glory right where we are!

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