Monday, May 17, 2010

Earthworm miracles...

Last Saturday, I was working out in the yard, digging up some grass for a new plant bed. I'm also starting a strawberry patch, and I got a whole pile of compost dirt for it. But that compost has no worms. It's rich as can be, but the heat that breaks down the manure also drives off earthworms.

Just in case someone reading this isn't a gardener, earthworms are miracle workers. Not only do their burrows aerate the soil and let water get down to the roots of things, they also eat dead leaves, manure, and even microscopic rocks, and digest it all...and what comes out the other end is amazingly rich dirt. Scientists have, in fact, found that what earthworms leave behind is 5-11 times richer than your average top soil.

So basically, if it weren't for earthworms, the world would look like one of those end-of-the-world movies where everything in sight is dead. And that, of course, is why I want earthworms in my strawberry beds!

So as I pulled grass roots out of the first bed, and I began to find dozens and dozens of earthworms squirming through the dirt, I did what almost any gardener would do, and I began to collect them. As I worked away, shaking dirt out of grass roots and pulling worms out as I went, it occurred to me that I could be taking advantage of this relatively quiet time to talk with God. So as I pulled another earthworm out of the dirt, I paused.

Lord, what can I learn about You from this earthworm?

His answer was immediate.

"I take what is dead and cast off and broken in your life, and I make it fertile."

The awesomeness of it overwhelmed me, and all weekend long and even now, the implications keep multiplying.

He created the earthworm in my hand...and science has watched and proven what that earthworm is capable of. Why is it then sometimes hard to believe that the One who created that worm is capable of doing the same thing in my life?

How often do we ask God to heal our brokenness? Now I'm wondering...maybe He doesn't want to heal it. Maybe He wants to turn it into fertile soil where greater truths may grow and bloom.

How often does the devil hit us with guilt over the dead areas in our lives? So we try to cover them up...or ignore them. Or maybe we thank God for His grace that is greater than that empty, dead place. What if He looks at that dead and cast off material the same way an earthworm does? As food for Him to work His miracles upon and transform it into something that supports life.

How about fruit? We're told to bear fruit...the fruit of the Spirit. But any organic gardener will tell you that the richer the soil is, the bigger and more delicious the fruit will be. Think of what this means. The more death and cast off material He has to work with in my life, the greater my fruit will be.

Awesome, awesome implications!

What is dead in your life? What waste do you see? Do you feel like it fills you? Let the One who created the earthworm work that same miracle upon it. For this is the hope of His calling!

holy experience

And so, for today's Multitude Monday, I am thankful for:

239. Earthworms

240. Manure and dead leaves in my life and

241. The richness that God turns it into and

242. The life it will support

243. Quiet moments while gardening

244. Loud moments when kids distract me to show how fast they can run

245. Roasting marshmallows with the kids when the work is done

246. Strawberry beds

247. Baby trees, growing in that earthworm-filled dirt and

248. The giants they will one day become

249-255. Confirmations and answers to prayer over the weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Think about it...

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” --C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lost along a dusty road...

I didn't post my Multitude Monday post yesterday, even though I meant to. Even though I have more gifts to add to my list. And that's not all I haven't done.

Remember that blog post I shared two months ago called "In the stillness?" The one that also included the bits about getting-lost-while-moving-forward?

Yeah...I've done it again. To be quite honest, I've been a little lost for the last couple weeks now. I've known it...but somehow it's hard to get un-lost and regain that connection with God. I trust you all know what I mean...that I'm not the only one to have experienced this.

I've tried spending quiet time with Him, and I feel like I get nowhere. My Bible reading has been sporadic, and the truths I discover seem such tiny nuggets compared with the power I know is in there! I know that's both a cause and a symptom of this place I feel stuck in.

It's a place where I know that God is here and with me...but I don't feel it. His peace is still there, deep within me...yet I feel like I'm looking at it through layers of clutter in my life. I've heard Him speak to me and received a few wonderful revelations...yet I feel like I'm missing that closeness...a closeness that, quiet honestly, I didn't even know a few years ago.

Years ago, when I'd discover myself in a place that made me feel like I'd taken several steps backwards, I'd get down on myself and get racked with guilt. I'd not done this. I'd not done that. I'd done this.

But then I began to discover that sometimes God did some of the most amazing things in me while I was "stuck." I began to wonder if God didn't intentionally lead me into these stuck places sometimes. After all, I can never know His power in lifting me out of the mire if He never allows me to wander into it, can I? And sometimes we need to know the mud in our lives for what it really is, in ways we cannot when we're blissfully flying over it.

I've learned some things these last few weeks. I've been humbled some more, which is a valuable thing. I've gained more practice in trusting that His grace and His forgiveness is there. I've exercised my truth-sword skills in fighting off lies that try to make me believe that reality is based on what I feel. (Because it's not.)

But all the same, I want that closeness back! I want the wow-factor again. I want to be overwhelmed with who God is, not just know that He is still overwhelming. How do I get there again?

Perhaps I need to spend some time in personal worship. Come to think of it, those occasional thoughts I've been having have probably been Him, whispering a call to do exactly that. After all, my worship invites Him into my days.

Perhaps I'm stuck because I have not yet swallowed my hesitancy fear and obeyed Him in something I'm pretty sure He told me to do almost two weeks ago. After all, the devil and his temptations will flee only if I am submitting to God.

Or perhaps, wrapped up in both of the above is a simple truth. This is a season, and God is setting me up for a revelation that He knows I need to receive. So yes, I need to spend more time in personal worship. And yes, I must obey. But after that, I must simply wait. Wait on Him to move in my life in the way and timing that He chooses. After all, who am I to say that He must give me powerful revelations non-stop?

If I am His bond-slave, then I must still trust Him, even when I feel like I'm sitting along the side of a dusty, dry stretch of road. Regardless of whether I'm here because I wandered here myself or because He led me here...He knows I'm here, and He is just as much my God, my Savior, my Supplier, and the Lover of my Soul while I'm sitting here as He is when I'm snuggled up on His lap receiving comfort, or when I'm lost in the wonder of His presence or overcome with the power of His truths.

One of those truths is that He can still use me while I'm here. I saw Him do it last Friday. I was told He did it Sunday. That means that those thoughts saying that I have to be walking on water in order for Him to use me are lies...lies that are particularly powerful in times like these...lies that I need to become skilled at recognizing and fighting off.

And that reminds me of a mental picture I considered the other day. I was praying...asking God questions about this place I'm in and the new weaknesses I've seen which have humbled me. I honestly don't know if this was His answer or not...but I wrote in my journal that I felt a little like I was being taken for a tour outside the walls of a castle. Inside that castle is peace and joy and the bliss of fellowship with the Lord of the castle. Outside is a battlefield. I felt like I was wandering through that battle while God was pointing out holes in my armor and the arrows aimed at it. Some of it was rather...shocking, actually. And yet, I recognized that He had blessed me immeasurably by pointing it out as He had.

There's a lost world outside the castle. Our Commander needs warriors who know how to function both in deserts and amid fertile fields. Perhaps that is part of the reason that these seasons come.

Father, thank You for Your goodness that shows us what we must guard against. Your abundant grace that covers my mistakes. Your mercy that never ends and that turns my dusty roads into priceless training grounds. Your love that showers these things upon me, even though I don't deserve them.

Thank You for...

217. Training grounds

218. Grace that covers holes in my armor, and

219. Love that points out what is aimed at me

220. Promises that are not based upon what I feel

221. Leading me, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, not to mention dry and dusty roads

222. Those tiny nuggets of truth, newly discovered in Your Word

223. This place I am in, because it will lead to

224. Future revelations

225. Grace that allows us to worship You and invite Your presence, despite dusty roads and jail cells

226. That Your peace remains inside me, even if I do let it get covered with clutter

227. For teaching me to recognize and fight the lie that I am useless in this place

228. Humility and the lessons that teach it

229. Beautiful reminders of simple-but-powerful truths

And more gifts that will stay quietly on my private list for now...

Monday, May 03, 2010

#207...

I just realized that this is post number 101! I guess I've been blogging here for...let's see...four years now. Wow. And I wasn't sure how much I'd do with this. It was sort of an experiment.

Experiment successful. (I think.)

Today's Multitude Monday doesn't quite pack the punch of last week's two revelations, and yet each gift from my King is worth counting, and so I continue my list with...

207. The word He spoke into my heart last week

208. Lawn mowers that work

209. Gas for the lawn mower that doesn’t cost $4/gallon like it did last year

210. The fence that now allows our dogs to run

211. The peace He gave my daughter at her first violin recital yesterday


212. The video camera to capture the whole thing that I didn’t take because I forgot we had it

213. The new camera that was able to take this tiny snippet, at least, of her perfect performance.
video

214. Flyswatters (Don't laugh. In farm country, these things are indispensable!)

215. Onion bagels and cream cheese

216. And dentist skill that stops cavities from becoming worse.


holy experience

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