Sunday, April 29, 2012

His Indescribable Gift!

"But this I say:  He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver...Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"  2 Cor. 9:6,7, & 15

     There are so many ways God speaks to me about life and His awesome power and mercy, but the two that stand out the most are:  the parent:child relationship and gardening.  My child's behavior will often reflect my own rebellious behavior towards the Lord and it convicts me deeply.  On the occasion that she is stubborn or acting out her frustrations, I see how I actually must be treating the Lord when He wants me to obey Him and I want to go my own way.  This is usually a quick way for Him to get my attention.
     On the other hand, when I am out in the yard tending to plants and sowing seeds, He shows me more of His merciful side.  I see His power in the life He breaths into the garden and how we have to be watchmen/women over it.  If f we just planted our seedlings and left them alone, they would be overtaken by weeds and bugs and destroyed.  I compare the weeds and bugs to the things of this world.  I am seeing new weeds pop up daily.  Some of them I let get big enough to grab without bending so far and some I rip out as soon as they emerge.  I guess it depends on how long I have been outside and how tired I am.  Our spiritual gaurd can be down when we are tired or a little lazy too.
     When I first started gardening, I was very naive and just planted my seeds in the grassy yard...that was stupid to an experienced gardener.   Needless to say, they did not flourish.  Then I bought seedlings and pot planted them with just water.  These did okay, but they were small.  Then I moved on to bigger pots and plant food and nearly daily attention for weed control.  I started to put some into the ground and boy did it take off!  The more I sweated and invested into them, the better they produced.  It is the same way with my spiritual life.  When we do not take time with the Lord, to seek out His ways and His will for our lives, it shows.  We will reap what we sow in every aspect in our lives.
     Now years later, I have learned things to do and things not to do.  I am constantly seeking new tips to improve my bounty.  I strive to remain in a close walk with the Lord and provide an abundance in the fruits of my labor (in any area).  Last year, about half of the seeds that I sowed grew to transplant and harvest.  This year, I think nearly every seed I put in the dirt germinated and grew to be transplanted.  I had prayed that my garden would be a blessing to us & overflow so we could bless others. 
     This week, He made answered that prayer.  I had about 45-47 tomato plants this season and for my little family of 3, we only needed a handful.  I have managed to give away the last 25 or so leaving us with about 10.  I will probably still be giving tomatoes away at harvest.  I could not have tended to that many tomatoes nor canned them fast enough.  Now, several of my dear friends have been blessed and will even be able to give from those and pass that blessing on.  If I had tried to keep all of them they would not have thrived and would have been wasted.  There are other things in our lives that we are blessed with that we can share in order to have the best harvest. 
     What are some things in your life that you can pass on to others that would greatly bless them and lessen your load?  (outgrown clothes, toys, or shoes, cluttered furniture or books, extra food in the pantry, or money)  I just recently went through my daughter's dresser drawers and closet to find some clothes she has not worn or been able to wear in over a year.  I am working on losing weight (it has been slow lately) and am loving being able to wear some older clothes of mine, but as soon as the larger ones are too big...they are out, never to return again.  I had a bunch of fictional Christian novellas that I ordered for gifts years ago and were left over.  I do not read fiction, except for maybe once every 2 years, so I got tired of seeing them collect dust and take up space in our home.  I bagged them up and asked my friends on Facebook for any takers.  Now, they are in my trunk waiting for me to meet with her:)
Sometimes it is hard to part with "stuff"  but once I do, I see the joy that it brings others, and it gives me joy in return.  The Lord gave me a revelation years ago one morning in church...I was kinda down and needing a hug.  The Lord spoke to me and said, "If you want something, give it to someone else, because you will get it back"  I did.  I got up from my seat and stopped thinking about myself and hugged on others...guess what?!  They hugged me back.  The Lord met their needs and my needs all at once with one act of obedience.  I pray the Lord speaks to your heart and help you meet someone else's needs.
God bless you and yours.
Marla B.

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