27 May 2013

Dandelion Roots

I thought I was about to begin a nice blog series, but the Lord had some other business for me to do. This is what's been going on.

I began to weed my garden. 
     Last summer I did a tiny bit of container gardening, and in the autumn planted some mums in the ground. That was a big deal for me. I've always thought I had two black thumbs, but last summer I decided to just try one more time. I had a little success, and this year I thought I would expand my horizons. I started to weed the flower beds beside the house.

     I like to weed. It is slow work for me, but with every weed I pull I imagine what I can plant in its place. I'm not very ambitious, and know very little about growing, but there's a lot to like about being in the garden. It's very satisfying.

     Well, it was very satisfying until I took my eyes off the nice, black plot I had just cleared. That happened on my second day. I stood up and admired my hard work, but as I turned to take my tools back to the shed I noticed all the weeds that still remained. I went from the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat in two seconds flat. I thought to myself, "This will take me all summer to finish. Maybe, I shouldn't even bother."

"Don't meditate on the weeds."
     I looked again at the plot of cleared soil, and back at the weeds. I noticed that as soon as I looked back at the freshly turned earth, I felt good. When I looked at the weeds, I became discouraged all over again. 

     In that moment, the Lord spoke to my heart. You see, He's been doing some weeding in me these days. He's shown me some things that have to go, and it hasn't been easy. In fact, I was being pretty resistant. Why me, God? What about them/him/her? Why are you picking on me? I felt overwhelmed by what He was asking of me, because all I was looking at was me. 

     I am ashamed to confess this, but I fought hard to hold onto my anger. It was like a dandelion root that doesn't only go down into the earth, but shoots out on either side and becomes a long chain of weeds that quickly dominate any plot of ground. That's what my anger did. It took over.  Until that moment in the garden, when the Lord showed me I was focusing on the wrong person. Instead of keeping my eyes on me, I have to keep my eyes on Him. 

I have a long way to go.
     When I look at the patch I've finished, I catch a glimpse of wildflowers and daisies. A tomato plant, or cucumber vine. I can see the potential for something beautiful and fruitful growing there, instead of just weeds. It's going to take a lot of time, and I may not have the success of my dreams, but I'm inspired to try.

     The Lord gives me a vision for myself, too. He gives me a glimpse of my potential. I see myself being patient, long-suffering,  gentle. I see Caroline dying to herself, and humility rising up. I have hope for me, so long as I'm willing to keep letting Him do the work He wants to do. I have to be willing to yield, and let Him take the whole thing, roots and all. It isn't fun and games, but when I consider the potential, becoming that woman He has called me to be, pleasing in His site, useful in His hands, a light in the darkness to draw others to new life in Him---well, the thought is so exciting, how can I not surrender once again?  

My garden and I are both works in progress, and I have more hope for me than I do for it, but we'll see what comes up!