Saturday, July 9, 2011

(day twenty) broken- but in the hands of a loving gardner

Adam and Eve sat on a wall, Adam and Eve had a great fall... Can Adam and Even put all the pieces back together again? Nope, sure can't. But I know who can.

Most things are made to break. Usually, the cheaper something is the faster it breaks. I used to buy sunglasses from target because they were cute and cheap, but after loosing or breaking about 15 pair I could have purchased one nice comfortable pair that would've lasted significantly longer. Now, after everything I've learned about slave labor, it's hard for me to buy anything cheap... knowing that someone along the line has paid the price for it.

The crazy thing is... we were not meant to break. The more I read the word, the more I see how the original design was for us to live in bodies that were "lifetime guaranteed". We wouldn't have to call the shop to get it fixed or have to buy a new one- part by part. Our parts would work beautifully forever. Remember how the price of something usually determines the quality? Well, it's completely true in this case. Because of the highest price ever paid, our hearts are automatically the most valued and worthy possession in the eyes of the one who paid it. Since the fall, we've been losing earthly "quality" fast. But also since then... God's been pursuing His creation desiring to restore and redeem to it's original intention.

Restoration: the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition. Not only does God care enough to restore our relationships on earth... but He actually treasures us so much that He is restoring us to HIM, to eden, and to our original mold. Man, what a job that would be? The more we live like adopted sons and daughters of a king, the more freedom we experience on this earth and the easier it is to walk around in the kingdom daily.

I picture an overgrown garden tucked away somewhere content with its quiet hidden life. The weeds have taken over and no one visits, but it's comfortable. The original gardner comes back one day and is shocked to see it in such a place, far from it's intention. It was once a magnificent garden where children loved to play, women came and planted, and people drove for miles to enjoy the peaceful serenity. The gardner spent every waking moment on his knees digging around in the dirt, pulling out those deep rooted weeds, and replanting many new things. In the meantime, the garden was struggling to understand why the gardner wouldn't just leave her alone and let her be. This process was much more painful, and seemed endless. When the gardner finally stepped back to admire the beautiful garden He had restored, the garden finally saw itself in the reflection of its keeper's eyes... and it finally saw what He saw. Once the garden finally accepted its purpose and design, it began to come alive. Every day many people came to enjoy the garden and because of its beauty, they could ALWAYS feel the presence of the gardner. The garden, after all, was a reflection of the hands that dug deep into it's soil, pulled out those painful weeds, and planted even more stunning things than before.

It's a process, and it's not easy (and quite messy at times).... but it's well worth it. Control- we want it, but He wants us to let go of it. Why? So He can restore us like this garden. And as He does... we begin to look like Him, smell like Him, sound like Him and reflect His splendor. We represent Him. Do others enjoy His presence in us? Or do they have a hard time finding their way through all the weeds? God finds so much joy in our willingness to obey, and the moment we step out He's ready- tools in hand- to get this garden party started. Think about all the time you'll spend together!

B90: (Judges 18:20- 1 Samuel 6:21) It seemed as though this was a theme throughout this section of reading. Words that stuck out to me were "inheritance", "redemption", and "restoration". These remarkable stories in the word reflect the very things God wants to do in our hearts. He truly wants to redeem us to our inheritance, so that we LIVE as though we KNOW who we are and WHOSE we are! And although we sometimes forget, let me remind you that we have an unfathomable inheritance. Just like in Ruth Chapter 4:15, He restores OUR life and is a nourisher of our souls! To redeem means to gain or REgain possession of something (someone) in exchange for payment. He paid for us, now He wants us back. There's no need for us to feel like an orphan ever again, Our Dad just wants us around more.... like, ALL the time.

Xtra little sumthin: God speaks to me a lot through gardening. Maybe it's because He's pulled a lot of nasty weeds out of me that were holding on for dear life. I've had the most amazing privilege of spending significant time in Israel. Out of everything I've seen and experienced around the world. His gardens are my favorite. The garden of gethsemane and the garden tomb. I could spend hours upon hours in these places. And now, i've actually committed to our Earthcare Dts in New zealand. I went from pulling weeds on our base in 2007 as God was pulling out mine, to leading a school that plants organic gardens and builds community in the third world. Wow, God's so hilarious sometimes.

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