I sat on our patio one recent morning, enjoying coffee while watching birds and dragonflies flitting all around. The mowed yard, the green trees, the blue sky…it was all so pretty and pleasant. But then my eyes wandered over to our garden plot. UGH!! So much for looking at beauty!
Why? Because for the second year in a row, Gary and I did not plant a vegetable garden. Rain…two out-of-town trips…schedules – it all added up to once again, no garden.
Now our small garden area is a huge mess, full of overgrown weeds and sad neglected old tomato cages. What a difference to have gone from this:
Same ground, but different cultivating.
I read this verse around the time I was thinking about the comparison in our little piece of land from one year to the next.
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3)
God’s desire for Israel was for them to dwell in the land He had promised to them. He told them over and over that dwelling in the land successfully and fully would require their total obedience to Him. In Deuteronomy 30:15-20, God told Israel very clearly what their choice was:
“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.” (v. 15-16)
God told them that disobedience would bring death and a curse. He urged them to choose life by loving the Lord, obeying His voice, and holding fast to Him. And not just life but life AND prosperity.
In other words, to cultivate faithfulness.
This same principle is very true for me today. I have a choice to make. God won’t force me to make the right one, but He has told me what the right choice is and how to make that choice.
It’s simple, really. Choose to love God, choose to obey Him, and hold fast to Him. Hold fast by hanging onto Him when life is crazy and tiring and disappointing.
I get really tired sometimes. I know we all do. Just as I began this blog, Aaron called me from his day group. I knew he had been having a hard day, and his voice and manner on the phone confirmed it. I ended up just picking him up early today to avoid any further meltdowns at his day group. This change in my day was not in my plan. His attitude today makes me angry and tired.
And guess what I saw before all this happened? Beautiful beach vacation pictures. When I hung up from talking to Aaron, I was wanting to just hang up this life with him too, quite honestly. For a fleeting minute, I wanted to give in to my beach thoughts…have a pity party…and allow myself the “luxury” of wallowing in the wishes for a life I don’t have.
I just HAD to be writing a blog today on faithfulness, right?!
You see, God has put me right here where I am. This life with Aaron is not what I had planned, but I must see and trust that this life with Aaron is what God planned…for me.
And in this life that He planned for me, I really do want to live it in victory and joy. I want to cultivate this:
And not this:
It truly is up to me which picture will be the picture of my life. I choose what to cultivate by choosing whether to love God…obey Him…and hold fast to Him.
I love Him by praising Him even when I don’t like what’s going on around me.
I obey Him by reading His word and finding out what exactly it is He wants me to do each day…and then DO it!
And I hold fast to Him by not allowing my thoughts to digress into selfish wishful thinking and all those “what if’s?” and asking Him to give me grace to love and handle Aaron correctly.
I should know that when God burdens me with a blog, then He’s going to hammer it home to me in a very personal way! 😊
So, wherever you are today…on a public stage or stuck at home…reeling from an unexpected diagnosis…planning a funeral…facing life alone as a single…hurting from unfaithfulness…starting all over in a new life or new church or new friends…losing your job or needing a new one…raising your grandchildren…raising special needs children…
Whatever is your situation, just remember:
And just watch what God will grow in your life!