I am the gentle gardener watering your visions in the night.
While editing my creativity book yesterday, I came across this paragraph I wrote several years ago:
“I awoke from a dream in which the Lord was counseling me about focus. He explained that the visions He had given me are like flowers in my garden. Some are to be contained and some transplanted into larger containers. However, some will climb over the garden wall in order to spread seeds in other places. All are to grow simultaneously.”
The words stunned me in light of unbridled fears of financial security that had trampled my serenity. Teachers in my school district brace for more forced furlough days that will take another significant chunk out of our paychecks. I found myself giving way to anxious thoughts: Will I have enough money to push my book projects forward? Will I have the funds to fulfill promises I’ve made to others?
Then in the middle of my angst, a scripture whooshed through my mind and lingered just long enough for me to scribble it down:
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I dare to believe thoughts of faith that mix with my mental musings and wash fear from my mind. The plans and purposes I have for you are not easily discernible. Look to the quarry from which you were cut. Look to Abraham your father and Sarah your mother. Let faith rise above the fear. Release promise to conquer the pain. Allow joy to replace your sorrow. In that day, you shall hear a voice behind you saying this is the way, walk in it.
I decide that whether these words are God breathed or merely human ramblings mixed with scriptures intended to self-comfort, they bode well with my soul, and so I accept them. In the midst of doubting whether my writing will one day truly grow like a vine up and over the wall of my life, I open my bible to a random page and read these words:
22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.[a]
23 With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.
24 But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed[b] limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
Genesis 49: 22-24
The words silence my mental chatter. I remember that God is the eternal spring, and I am but a sparrow for whom he cares.
I realize anew how faith begins with the realization that I cannot without Him. Oh sure, I may muster a whole lot of human effort but the accuracy with which I hit the mark of God’s will requires reliance on hearing and following that still small voice of God’s Spirit.
Faith grows from dependency upon a Power greater than I possess. The longer I follow the Good Shepherd, the more uncertain I am of the path before me.
My spiritual ears often grow dull from 21st century living. Yet faith picks me up again and again when I fail miserably at following. When I remember the women who set out to prepare Jesus’ body for burial on that Easter morn so long ago, once again, I believe.
This post is linked to Cheryl Smith’s The Simplify Journey.