This year has been an incredibly blessed year for my family. We tasted God’s goodness in large chunks, not tidbits. Our blessings poured by the bucket, not in trickles. The backside is that our challenges were unusually huge too, but nothing that God's grace did not sufficiently cover.
For me, it was--and is--like watching a garden bloom, though I am not the gardener. The One who carefully tends our "garden" is the same One who makes the sun shine and the rains fall. I am referring to none other than Jesus Christ to whom I turn over the management of our lives on a daily basis. And is He ever so good at the job!
Let me share this analogy:
At our townhouse, we have an enclosed little garden that, since we moved in, grew nothing but weeds. We kept our junk there too. When Dad came to visit for a month in the summer of 2004, he started to diligently work this land. Not quite knowledgeable nor fond of gardening, I was only too glad to let him do as he pleased with it. He collected and threw out all the junk, pulled the weeds, and began tilling the soil. Soon, he discovered a HUGE dead root beneath the soil surface running across the center of the garden. It came from a dried tree stump just outside the fence. Dad had to chip away, even saw, this dead root. It was a cumbersome task that had to be done before anything else.
When the dead root was finally done away with, Dad continued cultivating and making garden plots. In between the plots, he laid out columns of little rocks he had collected while digging up the soil. Dad layered the soil with fertilized top soil we bought by the sack. He then made trellises around the sides near the fences. When everything was prepared, he planted various vegetable seeds and spices according to his layout. Everything was carefully thought out and purposefully done.
This is a neat picture of how Christ cultivates our home life. He digs, tills, and uproots--which can be an unpleasant experience--then He replenishes lost soil and nutrients. He plants seeds of life, and I don't mean the existence kind of life, but life in various areas of an otherwise glum existence. Then He grows what He has planted with His sources of nourishment.
I am seeing plants grow, others are still incubating. There’s individual blossoming and corporate growth, but a lot of digging and weeding out in the process. The works!
As I said, I am no gardener, and if it were up to me, I would not have known where to start, much less, how to proceed. It pays to leave it to the Expert.