Yes, we still have snow on the ground in New Hampshire. Although Spring is officially here, it is hard to believe that I will ever have the opportunity to plant my seedlings in my garden. The picture above is one I am very much looking forward to and I know it will be here - because God never lets me down. I have put my faith in what He delivers, and it is always EXACTLY what I need. It amazes me that when I begin my gardening journey each year, a small seed or sprout turns into a beautiful, vegtable yielding plant. I truly enjoy taking that journey every year.
As I journey with Jesus this Lenten season, I thought about that growth - my growth. The past few weeks have been spent recognizing my sins. Yes, the quieter I am the louder God is, letting me know when my words, thoughts, or actions have been against His will. It has truly opened my eyes, and heart, to realize the areas that I need to take time and listen to God. After the recognition has come the repentence. The need for me to stop what I am doing when I hear God's voice, that nudge that says, "Should you have said that? Was that an action that is pleasing to God?" and has helped me to say, "I'm sorry!" This apology and repentence sometimes went to the person I was speaking to, or the person who was hurt by my actions. More than ever, the apology goes to Jesus. He, being the one who suffered and gave of himself for all of my sins. He needs to know that I realize when I am wrong and that I repent for my sins.
The next step on this journey is for growth. Although I have been a Christian all my life, it amazes me how much I need to Grow in God. So many days I feel like the little seedling in the picture. This season of Spring brings to light all the growth that I still need. I am far away from the mature plant at harvest season. Recognizing and repenting has brought forward the reality of my need to grow. It doesn't do me any good to do just the first two steps. I need to take what God has taught me through this proces and now apply it - apply these lessons in my every day life. It is time to stop the negative and begin the positive. Stepping outside the comfort of our daily lives can be scary and filled with anxious thoughts. Yet, it also provides us the opportunity to grow in more areas of our life than we have ever imagined.
At first thought, it all seems very overwhelming. There is much I need to do; many places where I need to grow; many bad habits that need to be replaced by good ones. Where do I start? I need to start in prayer, praying to God for where my growth needs to begin. He knows where my greatest challenges lie. Through Him, I know I can make progress. Through time, I can become the mature plant. Until then, I need to make the steps. I need to root myself in fertile soil, God's word, I need to fertilize by praying and enveloping myself in God's world - worship, praise, thanksgiving. I know that if I stay in The Lord, he will show me how I can be successful.
So I ask you to take the journey with me. Let's ask God what we can do, how we can be better in His world. Then let's take the step - firmly planting ourselves in His Garden. I have a few areas I will be working on, dependence on Jesus when I can't do it myself - complete dependence. I will be working on thoughts that promote God's world, and getting rid of the negative thoughts that bring me and others down. What are you going to firmly root in Growth in God? Take some time to think of the one or two areas that will change your life - and become closer to our Heavenly Father. Where to start? Be quiet with God, He will show you. Here is to our journey - let's pray . . .
Dear Lord, thank you for all the blessings you so richly give me. As I recognize and repent for my sins, I know there is another step to take, the one that brings me even closer to you. Help me to see where I need to grow and give me the path to get there. Lay out the plan, God, and show me the way to get there. Give me the strength to succeed in you, for my growth needs to be in you. Amen
"Commit to The Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." (NIV) Proverbs 16:3