The other day I was flipping through Real Simple Magazine. I love all their ideas. And I’d love even more to have time to try a few of them! Oh well.
Anyway, I came upon this introductory paragraph:
“Gardens often don’t grow according to your plans, no matter how carefully you’ve laid them. Branches break, bushes get out of hand, and roses become unruly.”
I read that and paused. That’s me. That’s my life! And I would guess that all of us who minister in God’s kingdom can relate.
Ministry doesn’t go as planned. Expectations are shattered. Organizational plans and goals get out of hand. Even roses–growth and beauty in our lives–get unruly.
Even so, God has still given me this garden to watch over. A garden I’d like to tend with perfection, but one I’m learning to manage with peace.
Peace in tending the plot I’ve been given.
Peace in managing my unique and varied crops.
Peace to balance the cultivating (which I’m very good at) with also taking time for quiet and rest (which I’m not so good at).
And peace not to glance over at someone else’s bigger, brighter, and bolder garden, wishing it were mine.
Of course, this peace only comes one place–in a relationship with Christ.
I am a big fan of The Message Bible. In Psalm 65:7, God is described as the Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer, Mountain-Mover, and Hill-Dresser. I love that.
I also love Isaiah 49:8:
“When the time’s ripe, I answer you. When victory’s due, I help you. I form you and use you
to reconnect the people with me, to put the land in order . . . “
That’s what our tending is all about, you know. Not to have something to show off. Not to have something that keeps us busy so we’ll stay out of trouble. (Although that does help!) But to reconnect people to God, with our words, our service, and our lives.
To point them to the Perfector. Because it’s only there they’ll find Peace.