Wednesday, January 05, 2005

 

Tending the Garden

Last night my mind was drifting. Usually I listen to music before going to sleep, but it seemed more important then to listen to God, so we discussed various things.

One of these things was done in images. Heavy boots walking through a garden, new plants being mashed and shredded underfoot.

God's plants are pretty tough; once you turn the Holy Spirit loose, he's much like zucchini squash. Just throw the seeds and run. In a few days the plants start growing, and given just basic care of sunlight and water you can't help harvesting more squash than you can eat. And somewhere in there among the big spiny leaves is the Graf Zeppelin, the one dark green monster that hides until the end of the season. It just grows.

If you stomp around in the garden, though, the tender plants don't get much of a chance. God showed me that he's much more gentle. He knows how to tend a garden.

I thought this was great. The plants grow, God takes care of them, and life changes.

Then I realized what those plants do. They are the ones whose growing roots pry apart my foundation, the ones whose expanding leaves crowd out everything else, and the ones whose strong stems get a grip on my soul and pull down the old dry walls. They may be dry but they're familiar and comfortable. Naturally, I got upset and pretty much closed down.

The outcome really isn't in much doubt; God has proven over and over that he knows far more about growing things than I do. I figure if a plant can't hold up under bricks and boots then it has no business trying to grow. It's not tough enough to make it in the real world.

God's view seems to be different. He protects the new plants, the new growth, in ways that keep me from being destroyed but still leave me open to influence from outside. This is very odd. I'm used to making all the decisions as to what gets in through the few small doors, for my own protection. The results have been disastrous, but still it's the familiar way to me.

Right now I'm still unsettled. If God does all of this, then what will be left of me at the end? Maybe I just don't know. It seems as if nothing will be left, all of me pulled down.

It doesn't really matter. Either God saves me or I'm dead meat. What will be left after his work? Good question. I have no idea, and I don't really want to know. That's why I just hold onto his hand as we walk the precipice, and I don't look ahead.

Comments:
I'm with you, Larry. I don't care what I look like after he finishes His work. I just want to be His. The precipice isn't so scary when we know Jesus is in it.

Nice, blog. I'm glad I made it over here.
 
Hi, Ragamuffin.

Thanks for your comments. I've been enjoying your Blog also, since being introduced through Lu's links.
 
Larry,
This is a really cool post. I saw myself, that tender little plant that He shields and nurtures, yet also leaves open to other influences. Wow.

My thought is this: It seems to me that as I give Him more control and let Him garden me however He wants that I find more of who I really am, not less. The me that falls away with the cuts of His gardeners shears are the pieces that were grafted in my hurt, lies, and the world. The stuff He's nurturing is the real me--the inside person He created me to be.
 
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