I’d been planning to reduce the size of my front garden for months but was unsure whether to go ahead with it. However, as winter drew to a close, I knew that I wouldn’t cope with managing to keep on top of the front garden as well as the back, and I implemented my plan.
I started to prepare for this by digging up the lovely plants I wanted to keep, and then watched as the workmen re-shaped the garden, throwing away the invasive and overgrown plants that were left. This made me think of what God does in our lives removing, with our cooperation, what is not of Him.
These plans had filled my thoughts for some time, but, especially when they actually started, I wanted it to be just right. I was totally focused on it so that even my sleep was affected when things didn’t go according to my plan and I had to sort it out with the workmen. It was during this time that I suddenly realised my heart and all my energies were focused on my garden and getting that right instead of my heart being at peace because my primary focus was on the Lord and His Kingdom.
However, it was the process of laying down of the paved area which spoke most strongly to me. First of all, a membrane was laid over the prepared surface to suppress any weeds. Surely in our own lives we need to beware of suppressing the wrong things in our lives. We need to expose them to the light of God’s truth.
Then the hard core went down. In our lives, this seemed to represent the strategies and coping mechanisms we turn to, put in place, and trust in, to get us through life. This definitely needs God’s light to reveal where we are doing this instead of turning to Him and trusting Him through life.
Next came the cement which fixed everything in place and made it strong and rigid. So too we have ‘cement’ in our lives to keep everything in place and enable us to be strong. The strongholds of the mind and the hardness of our hearts need God’s jackhammer.
Finally, the slabs were to be laid. They could be multi-coloured and look very nice on the outside, but really they’re covering up a load of rubbish underneath.
Of course, they’re different - front gardens and our heart’s garden. I’m not saying it’s wrong to have such work done, but, with us, God doesn’t want hidden weeds, hard-core, cement and slabs covering up what’s wrong in our lives, as we try to make ourselves look nice on the outside. He doesn’t want us to cope or be strong in ourselves.
He wants our focus to be on Him, to trust Him with who we really are and with every situation in our lives, and to put Him first. That way He can transform our hearts to make good soil where He can grow beautiful plants, flowers and fruit. That’s when He can grow His Kingdom in us and we will know His peace.
So, what is the focus on in your life? His Kingdom or yours?
Prayer: Lord, give me the humility to see what I’m truly focused on, and help me to focus on the things which really matter to You. Amen.
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