The Master Gardener
It’s that time of year where we walk around the property and clean up the shrubs and gardens that are done producing. It means pulling up the frost-bit tomatoes and the browned sweet potatoes. It means reshaping my evergreen before winter so the Christmas lights will look nice on it.
I love God’s incredible timing because I’m just reading through a daily devotional a page or two at a time and I started midyear, so I’m not on the correct date in my reading. However, that seems to let God bless me more in very intentional words needed at just the right time. In Abundant Life Day Book by Nancy Guthrie, she looks at the Bible verses in the photo. Then she shares how God knows how to specifically nurture me into a faithful branch in God’s vineyard. Working in the garden center, I’ve watched how some of the staff has learned over the years to read the individual plants. They know which ones need more water or less, who needs to be repotted because it has become pot-bound and is no longer taking in the nourishment needed. And they know when and what plants need fertilizer and which ones don’t. When I compare that to Guthrie’s comments, I am stunned at how closely God pays attention to the details that surround me. If I need time with Him, He may cause a slow-me-down (often one that I’m not willing to take the time to deal with, but so necessary in hindsight). He may have to prune me to shape me into what He wants me to be now and in my heavenly home. He knows what activities are sapping my energy and He will trim it away.
One of Guthrie’s comments rang very true, “God may cut out some of the activities you enjoy so that in the stillness you can hear My voice.” I cannot tell you how true this is, but many who face chronic illnesses definitely know the truth of these words. For me, that was the enjoyment I had in working with teens in youth group – teaching, encouraging, worshiping, fooling around with, attending activities … it was what seemed to be the one way God allowed me to worship and serve Him. God changed that and told me it was time to step down after about a year of dealing with RA. It was hard. I argued with God and struggled with the let down. But God in His infinite wisdom allowed me to grow during the period after working with teens. He had a lot to teach me about BEING with Him. And the more I am with Him, the more I realize I want to be with Him even more. But I struggle with “finding” – no really with “making” time for Him. I know that if I don’t He’ll have another slow-me-down to help prune me and shape me into what He wants me to be.
Pruning and cutting hurt. Sometimes pruning is a simple snip from a clippers, other times it is a hard snap from a loppers or sometime it takes a hacksaw to cut away the dead growth. Whatever it takes, I need to remember that God’s pruning is with purpose, it is never careless or just because. He has learned to read me like a book and knows whether I need water, fertilizer or pruning.
By the way, again in God’s infinite wisdom and timing, I’m working with young people in a totally different perspective by helping them as they learn how to lead others in worship. I get to spend good time with them, hearing how life is going and encouraging them in their relationship with God.
Incredibly blessed by God’s incredible timing and careful pruning ~ Faye
Soaring on Eagles Wings
One of my dad’s favorite bible passage has been Isaiah 40:31. So for sentimental reasons alone, it’s been meaningful to me. I think of it more often because November through March we are blessed with seeing eagles near the river. They are an amazing creature. They can soar without flapping their wings, or take off with just a few strong flaps of their wings, and they are quickly lifted on the air currents. Then they can dive straight down to the river or corn field for their prey. I’ve watched two of them doing their air dance as they mate and play with each other. They never seem to tire when they are enjoying being carried by the wind.
All of Isaiah 40 tells us of the secret of waiting on God, the anticipation and hope of His sending His Son to save us completely from our sins so that we may enjoy the glory of God. Verse 8 reminds us that God’s word will never fail, but it endures forever. Look, it has lasted for thousands of years giving guidance, comfort, encouragement and hope.
Whenever I need a reminder of who God is, verses 12-14 help give me some perspective:Who else has held the oceans in His hand? Who has measured off the heavens with His fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD? Who knows enough to give Him advice or teach Him? Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does He need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach Him what is right or show Him the path of justice?
When I question what God is thinking, in time, in His perfect time, He reveals His plans. I’ve seen it time and time again. (I wish I’d learn, remember and trust Him more quickly.) Recently, God allowed me to see how even in His encouraging and prompting me to write this blog, He was preparing me for something else. It looks like I’ll be able to use some of the skills I’ve learned here with WordPress in my new job. If I had known I’d be taking on this project, I’d have been filled with a lot of stress and anxiety over it. But because God prepared me, in advance of this project, to learn the some of the WordPress blogging process, I’m even more relaxed letting things go to God in prayer. He’s had it all in His plan (Jeremiah 29:11).
I’m being reminded daily that if I resist anxiety and WAIT EXPECTANTLY for God to lead me, I’ll discover strength, resources, joy, hope and unexpected blessings for the journey ahead. I am filled with God’s strength, renewed by His precious words, and encouraged once again to Wait Patiently for God.
Praying God lets you soar in the blessing of His strength ~ Faye
I am linked with Good Morning Girls and Beholding Glory.