It's that time in New Hampshire us gardeners have been patiently waiting for, planting season. I definitely received this passion from my dad. My mom has passed down to me many wonderful characteristic traits, but gardening isn't one of them - this one is Daddy's. He loved to garden. Our entire backyard in NJ was a garden, dedicated to growing the most wonderful vegetables (and roses) you have ever seen. Each year, my mom would diligently wait for "harvesting" season where she would can and freeze the abundant fruits of his (okay, my brother and I were included) labor. What seemed as such a chore back then has now turned into a time of year I can't wait for~~
So today, my daughter and I hit the garden shop. We started with herbs - something I knew would weather the next few days that might stand to be a bit chilly at night. The herb garden is always the first to get planted. The smell is right outside my kitchen window and I just love to snip and pick them all through the summer. Yet the best part of planting season is getting my hands in the dirt! I love to feel the dirt in my hands again, and realize it is from this dirt that miracles seem to happen; small seeds or little plants grow into great vegetables. I also realize that on planting day (and subsequently, weeding days), I get a bit filthy throughout the process. The best part of it all, though, is getting all the work done and coming inside for a great shower - cleansing myself from all the dirt and mud, and relaxing into some "comfy" clothes.
Thinking about this entire process reminded me of our Dear Savior and how closely this entire process resembles the love and sacrifice He gave for us. We, as well, are filthy. Our sin, and each of us is very familiar about what our own sin is, makes us dirty. When we realize that our sin can cloud over us, sin such as greed, impurities of the soul, anger, falsehoods, stealing, rage, malice, etc., it can create a filth that is difficult to wash away. Yet, Jesus came for us, lived on this Earth for us, endured hardship and temptation for us and paid the ultimate price of a horrific death - for us - and for our sin. With that, we are washed clean, completely clean. There are no traces of dirt, no traces of filth. We are clean and in the "comfiness" of God's love.
There is no better feeling, than realizing that we are eternally cleansed from our sin by Jesus. We shouldn't continue to commit the same sins, but work to shed our "old self" and create a new self, one that is closer to God - with an attitude and ways by which we walk closer to God, in our words and actions. How will you pursue this journey? Maybe you will speak kinder words. Maybe you will seek God's word on a regular basis and find comfort in His story. However you decide to pursue this journey - create a new self, become cleansed, and plant a few little "miracles" in the process.
"...to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (NIV) Ephesians 4:22-24