I love seeing the Botanic Gardens in different cities and countries I visit. One of my favorites was in Christchurch, NZ (read more about why I loved it here). They're always filled with such color, such beauty, such life.
Our church has been talking a lot about gardening. Cultivating, sowing seeds, reaping the harvest in God's time so that it can reproduce 30-, 60-, 100-fold.
It's becoming a theme in my life so far this year. Deepening spiritual roots, pulling weeds that aren't truth, marinating in His Word so that His voice becomes louder than all others. I love it when I'm reading and happen across more words that tie the theme together. Words like "plant," "grow," "sow," "garden."
God mentions them all over...
Psalm 144:12-13, NASB
Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace; let our garners be full, furnishing every kind of produce, and our flocks bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields.
Isaiah 58:10-11, NASB
And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 61:1, 3, 11, NASB
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners...so they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified...For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
Galatians 6:7-9, NASB
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary."
What good news! Oh to be an oak of righteousness in a well-watered garden!
But sometimes the growing is hard. Sometimes we don't know where the growing is leading. Sometimes we ask the dreadful "why" questions. Why would God have me grow this way? Why does it take this much time? Or even, "How long, oh Lord?"
I find myself often asking some of those questions. But this morning while worshiping at church He reminded me of something hugely powerful.
He is growing in me the very things I will need for whatever He asks of me in the future.
It may not make sense now. I may not be able to see how or why this season could be useful. But I trust in Him, I trust in His heart to be growing in me the character I need, equipping me with the truths I need to live out His will.
Because the truth is, I don't know what the future holds. I might think I know what's good for me. I can beat my heat against a wall and wonder why I am in this season. But God knows what's best. He invites me to sit at His feet, eager to learn from my Teacher, tuning my ear to the Holy Spirit, trusting in His sovereignty. I don't know what the next five seconds of my life might look like. Yet God knows my every day from now through eternity.
He knows exactly what I need. What a reason to trust Him!