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Monday, September 17, 2018

A Wonderful, Peculiar, Work in Progress

Sometimes early morning devotions is digging into the soil of a garden, while pulling weeds and talking to God.

 “Well, Lord, I meant to get into that prayer closet but here I am pulling weeds and trimming trees.”

God: “I appreciate you coming to me anytime and anywhere. I love gardening. You know how I love to prune.”

Me: “Ouch.”

I put on a pair of gardening gloves and go to battle, with a few straggling bees, and pick up rotten peaches, sun-burnt apples, and browned persimmons. The bees look drunk after inhaling so much peach nectar. They hardly move, or buzz. These peaches have seen better days but are now hard as rocks, housing gnats and flies. My beautiful garden smells overripe, overgrown, and hauntingly shady. Time to trim the trees in our wilderness.

I decide to leave the pomegranate tree to its own devices since the fruit, almost caressing the ground, has only now begun to redden.

As I work I talk to Jesus about the weather and the work that has to be done. “I’m rebelling, you know. Ugh, praying, reading my Bible, writing in my prayer journal … it’s getting a little ho hum stale.

God: “Yeah, I understand. But just 5, maybe 10 minutes, of your day. I would love that.”

 Me: Sigh. “I know. Sometimes I fall into that pit of depression—single mom, two adult children not going to church … for now; Mom had a stroke; Dad had a stroke; I’m turning 60 soon. What is the matter with me? How did I get here?

God: “You let the weeds grow.”

Me: Sigh. “I know. I need to get back into your Word. I always say it’s the best weed killer.”

God: “I like that.”

Some weeds are less stubborn—easy to uproot. “Like the weeds of politics. O, what a cesspool! I’ll keep my eyes on you, Lord.”

I get to the stubborn weeds. The ones choking all the good plants. No matter how hard I pull, these are deeply rooted and not coming out. But I need to get to that root or it grows again.

“It’s like that secret sin lodged in my flesh. In my defense, Lord, it’s a giant thorn in my side and I’ve tried pulling it out. Pulling the root out would hurt too much. Not much of a defense, I know.”

God: “At least you know. Now work a little harder and pull!”

“Oh, forget it. The backyard is a mess—leaves on the ground, a leaky hose, rotten fruit, branches too high for me to prune, fermenting grapes, and weeds, weeds, weeds. I wonder, God, how do you see me?”

God: “You’re my favorite work-in-progress. My unfinished masterpiece, a priceless work of art. And I can already see the oasis. Maybe you can add a fountain  … with clean living water.”

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ~Galatians 6:9

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