Garden of Life
This year my garden was not as spectacular as it was in the prior years because we moved just before the summer and did not have time to prepare the ground. However, I am reminded of my gardens in prior years which were filled with lovely dahlias, beautiful clematis’s, spectacular salvia, gorgeous corn-flowers, vibrant lobelias, and hanging baskets jam-packed with dazzling colorful flowering plants. And of course, I cannot forget the many vegetables I grew; large plump tomatoes, tasty zucchini, cucumber, onion, chives, lettuce, potatoes, spicy red and jalapeno peppers which were just a few of the many types.
I had such a choice of delicious vegetables to choose from, sometimes I found it difficult to decide as to what I wanted to do with them or how to prepare the delicious veggie. Would I include it in a delightful garden salad, or perhaps barbeque skewers of tomatoes, zucchini or cucumber on the grille? With the flowers in my gardens, I always filled vases with them and made lovely bouquets; especially when my mom was alive because she adored flowers so. The tough decision with the flowers was, what colors and types did I want to put together and where would I place them in my home. Other times, I just allowed them to bloom so when I spent time in my gardens I could stare at them and appreciate the natural beauty that God has given.
Although beautiful to behold, and full of delicious, life-giving vegetables, my garden also had some pesky little creatures which at times were annoying. Spiders, ants, and other creepy crawlers that helped my gardens strive and balanced out nature to make sure everything grew the way it should.
One of my least favorite creatures, the bee fluttered all over my gardens in abundance. I am not allergic to them, but their bite or sting really hurts so I would rather that they not have been there at all. Nevertheless, their absence was to the detriment of my garden because of their pollination capabilities. So I put up with them.
Like my garden, life gives me many different opportunities. Sometimes the chances or breaks given to me are excellent, and without a doubt, I know what I should do. Like eating from my garden at times, I know which vegetable I crave and how I will dress or prepare it to make a meal pleasant. Or I know which bouquet I want to make and which flowers to use in it to make it spectacular. However, sometimes the opportunities I receive are not as clear, and a degree of confusion exists. For example, I am not sure what vegetable I am craving or what type of flowers I want in my bouquet. Also on top of the confusion, little creepy crawlers and bees will be present somewhere along the way, and I am not sure I want to have to deal with them.
In my life now I am looking for direction because I have several breaks or chances set out before me, but none of them are crystal clear, and in my mind, all of them contain some flaw or unpleasantness. Although from all perceptions some of the shortcomings seem insignificant and something that I can handle or overcome, I am still not sure which way to go. When I experience times like this, I have learned to talk to God and seek His guidance.
His word tells me: Jam 1:5-6 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith,”
In truth, I know when I pray to God He answers my prayers. Over the years, since I committed myself to following his guidance, I have seen so many blessings come my way. I have written and published two books, working on my third now, have a popular blog, and purchased land on an island in which we just recently placed a home. A couple of years ago, none of this seemed possible, but now I can personally confess that God is good.
Back to my dilemma. So now I pray and I wait for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and have faith that he will give me wisdom into what God wants for my life. I wait to hear from Him as to which opportunity God is placing before me, and which ones will lead to pain and anguish. I don’t want to handle the creepy crawlers or negative aspects of the opportunities alone. When I assume that the unfavorable situations of an opportunity are surpassable in my own strength and underestimate its influence on my life, sometimes I make mistakes and cause myself a lot of hardship and grief that I could have avoided. Most of the time, I end up backtracking and starting over. It might take a little time to get my answer because my time is not God’s. One thing I have found is that if I rush to do something, which is not an emergency, it is usually not from God. More than likely it is the devil trying to set me up for failure, or my own flesh trying to push forward to get what I want before it is time.
In James, God also says Jam 1:4 “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
In time the answer comes, but the key is to follow the leading our hearts since that is where the Holy Spirit speaks to us. When we think on things, what gives us peace is the answer. Sometimes in our minds, we might not be able to comprehend how it will work, but if there is peace in our hearts, this is God’s leading. There might be some creepy crawlers present and fear, but we have to understand that God is always with us and will not forsake us in our journeys if we ask Him to be there. Sometimes when our opportunities are scary, and we cannot see how it is possible that they will work, it might not necessarily be a negative thing, it might God asking us to step out in faith and trust Him.
Heb 11: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
And finally, it might be a ride to get to God’s plan for your life, and I can confess that He never gives us all the steps at one time; but by faith when we keep going the door opens wider each day we continue to trust Him, and don’t give up.
Jam 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights,”
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