Church In The Midst Of Yard Work

Sunflower


I will say that even in the simple activity of weeding and planting, I saw God everywhere I looked.


This weekend I took time to do some much needed yard work. I also recently read a post by a well known food author. She talked about how being outside was her “church.” While I don’t recommend giving up church for hiking, I will say that even in the simple activity of weeding and planting, I saw God everywhere I looked. Not just the “isn’t God amazing” feeling we get when we view an awesome sunset or watch a spider spin a web, but the kind where God speaks directly to your heart through a very simple thing.

Here are a few things God said to me…

Bloom where you are planted. We feed a lot of birds at our house (and a lot of squirrels, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue). Subsequently, we have a lot of “volunteer” sunflowers randomly popping up all over the yard. These volunteers literally bloom where they are planted. Rocks? Not a problem. Shade? No worries. The ones in the shade do the best they can. Are they tall and strong like the ones in the sun? Nope. But they are giving it their best, and they produce a flower. Do I do that? Do I complain about my situation? Do I wait to serve, or to help until all the conditions are just right? Perfect soil, right amount of water, great location. Or do I do the best that I can right where I am…even if I struggle?

Sunflowers know their job. Everyday, all day long, they face the sun. Their bright beautiful faces are even brighter, because they point in the right direction. They are not looking around to see what all the other sunflowers are doing.

God can redeem all things. A few of the trees in our yard have become diseased and are dead or dying. One of my favorites looks this way this year. It’s leaves are dull and small instead of bright green and healthy like it’s neighbors. I have worried that it too will begin to lose its leaves and die. This weekend I saw one bright green leaf emerging from the end of one of the branches. There is struggle, but there is hope. God can make beauty of ashes, rivers in the wasteland, and bring new life to what was dull and lifeless. He is reminding us of that every day. Every season.

I felt spent and tired that day. But as the song goes…His love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me.

 

Waiting On The River

Dryland


“When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the Lord, will answer them. I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys. I will fill the deserts with pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground. I will plant trees in the barren desert  cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir and pine. I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means – that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it.” – Isaiah 41:17-20


The desert isn’t a place we like to find ourselves, but we’ve all been there. The seasons of our lives that feel dry and confusing and aimless. Maybe we’re waiting for healing, or we’re in the wake of a death, or everything we’ve built our life around is falling apart. Where is the Lord in all of that?

I would be lying if I said that I never question His goodness in the wilderness. Is He really doing something here? Will this season ever end? I grasp for control because all I want is to be far away from this desolate, bare season of life. But this passage from Isaiah gives me hope.

Maybe the Lord knows exactly what He’s doing in your desert. Maybe He’s asking you to stand firm in the questions. To trust that someday soon He is going to make you strong, firm, and steadfast again. Wait on the Lord.

Wait on Him to open up rivers in the parched desert. Wait on Him to plant trees in the wasteland. And when the deliverance comes, when the heavens open and the rain comes, we will know that only He could do it. Only He could bring us out of our mourning and into a miracle.


“For the Lord comforts Zion; He comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and the voice of song.” – Isaiah 51:3