The Garden

7 08 2013

I have a neighbor around the corner who has a thriving garden. He tends to it with great care. His yard overflows with all kinds of beautiful flowers, green shrubs, and fruit trees. It is a delight to walk past his house every day. It seems like each morning brings a new beauty. Some flowers bloom while others are fading. He seems to know just when to prune, water, feed, and weed his plants. Even in the midst of summer’s heat, his garden has flourished under his care.

One thing that is a constant amidst all of the flowers, plants, and blossoms is his presence. He works in his garden every day. Evidence of his daily care is seen in the tender way he watches over each plant. He loves his garden, and his garden prospers because it is an expression of his heart.

“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” – Isaiah 58:11

God filled the world with an infinite variety of colors, textures, patterns, and purpose as He planted trees, shrubs, and flowers throughout the earth. Each one holds within it evidence of His mercy, markers of His love, and lessons about our need to be deeply rooted in Him. Faith is like a garden. Beautiful gardens don’t happen by accident. It requires a deliberate investment of time, resources, energy, and vision to allow faith to bloom and thrive. Most of all, it requires the constant presence of the Gardener and surrender to His wisdom and purpose.

My Jesus Resolution today is to learn the lessons of the garden. Garden care and soul care have a lot of similarities. I want my heart to have deep roots in His love. I want to find my nourishment in the light of His presence. I want to thrive under His care as He works out His purpose in the way He shapes me. Today I want to plant myself in Jesus and let Him bloom in me.

Sky Writing

5 08 2013

You don’t see many skywriters any more. In the early part of the 20th century, sky writing became a major form of advertising and communication. People used sky writing to deliver personal messages, sell products (Pepsi Cola being one of the first), or even propose marriage. Using a special kind of smoke, a small plane writes the message in the sky so that people on the ground can read it and be moved to see life differently.

Did you know that God is a sky writer?

Creation’s second day finds God separating the waters and creating an expanse He called Heaven. He stretched out the sky and wrapped the world in a canopy that still draws our eyes and our hearts upward. But the sky is not just blue. It is filled with messages that tell us about our God.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”  – Psalm 19:1

“The heavens declare his righteousness…” – Psalm 50:6a

“His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.” – Habakkuk 3:3b

Do you see what is written in the sky? Every time our eyes catch a glimpse of blue, we catch a peek of God’s glory. His righteousness is written in the expanse of the sky. His splendor is painted across the canvas of the heavens. The sky is covered with God’s fingerprints. It is a scroll on which He writes us a love letter, inviting us to take our eyes off of our pain, personal agendas, and pride and dream of a life wrapped up in something, Someone, bigger than ourselves.

My Jesus Resolution today is to stop and read what God has written in the sky. Too often my eyes stay earthbound. I lock my focus in on my to-dos, must-bes, and gotta-haves. How much do I miss because I don’t look up – both literally and spiritually? The heavens tells a story, simple and compelling, about a God who so wants to love me that He writes it in the sky.

Let There Be Light

2 08 2013

I am lying in bed this morning in the name of research. I am watching the way that the light streams in and slowly fills the room as the sun creeps over the eastern horizon. At first, there is just an imperceptible shift in the darkness. Then, as the light continues to pour in, black gives way to color, shapes and textures take form, and even the shadows in the corners succumb to the power of the sun. Light bathes the room, coaxing me to see, wrapping me in warmth, brightness, and an invitation to step into the day.

This is how the world began. God spoke, “’Let there be light,’ and there was light.” – (Genesis 1:3.) It was the dawn of the first amazing day on earth. But don’t read those words in purely physical terms. First John 1:5 tells us that God Himself is Light. God didn’t just turn on the lights in the world. The first thing God did was give the world Himself.

That is what God wants to do for you and me with the dawn of each new day. He looks at the darkness invading my heart, haunting my soul, misshaping my perspective and priorities, and offers to speak His power into my life – Let there be Light. What light touches, light transforms. What happened in the moments as I watched the sun fill my bedroom are the same things that happen when I allow the Son to fill my heart. Light moves in, conquering the shadows, and opening up limitless possibilities.

My Jesus Resolution today is to pay attention to the light. I tend to take light for granted. We have blinds on our windows designed to filter and block the light. I don’t want to have blinds on my soul. I want to watch the way that sunlight plays on the colors in my garden. I want to be thankful for the way that light ignites growth, health, and vibrancy. I want to pay attention to how light transforms a room in an instant. The power of the sun is merely a shadow of the power of the Son. Today, I want to throw open my heart and pray, “God, let there be Light!”