Master Gardener

Reinforce those mailboxes. The gardening catalogues are coming with amazing before and after photos that send us running to the nurseries. After three months we’re exhausted. We look at our yard, then at the picture: They don’t match. What happened?
The same is true when we become a Christian; we’re ready to hit the road for God. But in a short while we, too, are exhausted. Why?
Thankfully God doesn’t see us as Christian professionals right off the bat. He sees us as fledglings that He’ll teach to soar, and not flounder.
In His wisdom, the stages of a satisfying life are like the “layering” it takes to create a beautiful yard.
No one begins a project without a design plan. And God is no different. His first layer is relationship, the foundation. To sustain us through life He wants us to know Him. Thankfully God doesn’t leave us hanging. He tells us: Receive My Son Jesus, as Savior. I desire you to become My child (John 1: 12). Then come and commune with Me in Prayer. I’ve promised to hear your needs, requests and to listen: (Jeremiah 29:12). What makes Me happy is to give you My Joy. Allow your countenance to shine of this joy within to live fully (John 15:11). My child, Humbly walk along side Me in serving one another in love: (Ephesians 4:2).
In the second layer we’re to quiet our hearts, and minds instead of running: “aspire to lead a quiet life” (1 Thessalonians 4: 11). Like Ecclesiastes 4:6 tells us: “Better a handful with quietness than both hands full together with toil and grasping for the wind.”
The third layer asks: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). When we’re quiet our minds continue to plan, make list, and etc. Now we’re to be mindful of His presence, listen, and – wait – for – His - leading.
The last is patience: for the first bloom, or becoming His ready servant: “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for patiently” (Romans 8: 25, The Living Insights).
The answer to the question “Why the yard doesn’t look like the picture, and why our life doesn’t seem productive, is – TIME!
My brother – in - law is the gardener’s crème al ‘crème. His beach home yard is magnificent. How long did it take? The initial “layering” took me eight years!
And God’s initial four layers keep us focused for growth and strength. It doesn’t matter if we’re 92 or 22, new Christian, or seasoned one. Discouragement sets in when our hopes, and dreams aren’t materialized quickly.
“But, beloved do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8, NKJV). A beautiful yard isn’t rushed. And we’re encouraged that God is never in a hurry to create the best, either.