Friday, March 13, 2020

Fear and Gardening in Fort Worth

It's been a while.  Honestly, life has taken over and I didn't feel like I had much to contribute in this arena anymore.  But then COVID-19 popped up and everyone is losing their minds, and I wanted to address it.

Not that I'm anyone you need to listen to - I'm not a doctor, or a politician, or even a pastor or theologian.  But I love my Jesus, and I want desperately for others to see Him and love Him, too.

So, let's talk about Fear for a second.  Not just a small fear, but FEAR.  The kind that debilitates you. The kind that makes you freak out and buy 20 packages of toilet paper because WHAT IF WE ALL GET STUCK IN OUR HOUSES FOR 2 MONTHS?!    I'm talking about the What-Ifs that threaten to suffocate you with their full weight sitting on your mind.

You're right.  The world feels scary.  The world IS scary.  It feels like something terrible could happen at any time because it CAN.  We are fragile and easily extinguished.  The fact that we even exist at all is a miracle.  The fact that we have survived and thrived for millennia when we absolutely shouldn't have is proof that God is merciful.  All the evil and disease and brokenness that we see in the world?  It's real.  It's painful.  And it's terrifying.

So then we might logically ask how God can say that He loves us and yet allow all of this terrible stuff to go on?  

Because He's merciful.

Let me say that again.


I've been gardening a lot.  I never thought I could or would ever even want to try because me and the outdoors are typically not friends, but guys, it is ADDICTING.  To see life sprout out of dirt is one of the coolest things to see.  It's also taught me a lot about who God is.

Let me backup to last fall, when I started my first ever garden.  I tend to jump in with both feet, without fully thinking things through, analyzing the possible outcomes, etc., etc.  So I planted a bunch of things and waited.  They grew beautifully and quickly and I was SO EXCITED.  And then the bugs came.  One in particular, the Squash Vine Borer, destroyed my plants one by one.  First my zucchini died, then they went after my pumpkins.  I watched as these beautiful vines started to slowly wither and rot.  Should I have ripped them out of the ground when I saw the first signs of infestation?  Probably.  But I had hope.  I loved those plants and desperately wanted to see the fruit of my labor - those baby pumpkins.  So I went on a massive defensive and did everything I could think of.  I sprayed the vines with organic pesticides.  I searched the vines every day and plucked every egg off that I could find.  And when that wasn't enough, I literally performed vine surgery, cutting them open and ripping out the vile maggots, then covered them back up with dirt and prayed for them to recover.

They recovered enough that I got 2 little baby pumpkins out of it, but that was it.  The rest had to be ripped out of the ground and thrown into the trash.  I was so disappointed.

What on earth does that have to do with fear and what we were talking about?  Let me explain.

This world is God's garden.  It started out exactly as he designed, growing and flourishing.  And then sin entered the world.  OUR sin.  Our rejection of His authority and design, where we basically said, "I don't care if we're the vine, we want to be the gardener and take care of ourselves."  Never mind the fact that we had no power or capability to do the job justice.  And so the maggots of sin entered our veins and began to rot us from the inside out.

Over the millennia, God has been so merciful.  He has been the loving and faithful gardener who tended to us in the knowledge and hope of seeing some of His children come to fruition.  He knew that not everyone would.  But He has kept the vine for those that would choose Him.  The rot and the sin and the death and destruction?  That's OUR FAULT.  Not any one human being, but collectively, WE CAUSED THIS.  Generations and generations of us have seeped and oozed our brokenness into the world and now it's drowning in it.  We are drowning in it.

And He has allowed it for a time, so that all of His children can enter His family.  Because of His great kindness and mercy, the entire earth has not been fully cleansed of our sin.  We have been given this time, this chance, to choose Him.  But the day is coming when the vine will be ripped out of the earth and burned in the fire.  It has to be.  The rot has to be destroyed, and we should want it to be so that this suffering can end.

But where do you want to be when that day comes?  Basking and growing in the light of the Son's presence, or burned up in the fire, beyond hope and rescue?

I know where I want to be, and I want every single one of the people I know to be there with me.  Run to Jesus, our perfect Gardener, who will gather His harvest that He paid for with His blood, in His time.

Those who belong to Him never have to fear the things of this world, for we know a better and greater day is coming, where we will see Him face to face.  And if you don't have that peace and hope - YOU CAN.  I'd be happy to talk it out with you or direct you to someone who can help you.  I love you, my friends.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.

"Therefore we do not become discouraged [spiritless, disappointed, or afraid]. Though our outer self is [progressively] wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day by day. For our momentary, light distress [this passing trouble] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory [a fullness] beyond all measure [surpassing all comparisons, a transcendent splendor and an endless blessedness]! So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are visible are temporal [just brief and fleeting], but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable."

-2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (AMP)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...