Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Naming the Gifts

"In naming that which is right before me,
 that which I’d otherwise miss,
the invisible becomes visible.”

 –Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts

Sometimes in the quiet moments of reflection, I find that I have grown weary, and have almost  lost may hope without realizing it. At these times, the elements of life have crispified my heart, burning & overwhelming the inner me.  Likewise, I realize that I have not spent enough time replenishing myself in the living waters of Truth, and seeking shelter in the refuge of my Father.

Just today, the Perfect Magnificence of God was revealed to me through my sweet little herb plant, and I was reminded that our God restores-- brings life out of -- that which seems barren, and gives me hope through the beauty of His creation in my everyday life.

 I looked at my weary plant the other day and thought, "Oh,  you have nothing left to give, you are so burned and brown and nearly dead,"  but after some rain, a little sprout pushed through the deadness and was fragrant and luscious.  It filled up my heart with His Presence, helping me see His care and love for a discarded little herb...... and  how much more for us?  All of His Goodness flooded my heart, I was filled with awe,  as one of my favorite scriptures came to mind and made me smile with gratitude.

As a gardener and amateur Herbalist, I am always so comforted by John Chapter 15,  "The True Vine," maybe because it was one of the first ways God broke through the indifferent, self absorbed blind person I had become years ago.  Instead of being like the old person I was, I must have the heart of a gardener. 

Even while God is able to do all things and He is more than willing- He requires that we ourselves tend our inner garden (heart) as well; so that when we do choose to spend time with Him.  It’s not always in saying.... "Father, if you have a really large pair of sheers handy, take this situation away because  it’s overwhelming and I cannot see through it."  Instead, we would understand and accept that  it would be a rich experience in which He could rest with us in our sanctuary as we minister to Him, serve Him... and not be frustrated and bewildered with what is referred to as  a 'Martha heart' (which I well know because I had and sometimes still do have one).

I have thought about my little herb, and believe that there are relatable ways we can tend our garden (heart) to help us to be fragrant and luscious on behalf of the Lord, revealing His splendor and glory. The following are just some scriptural anchors that may help in tending your own garden (heart).

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2

Not everyone relates to plants, but this is where God met me in my time of my worst need for repentance, knowing that I would appreciate more than ever a visual representation of the seemingly dead herb being brought back to life. I was once dead in sin,  and He brought me back to life. 

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