By Coulter Page, Senior Pastor Bethany Alliance Church
Do I have any gardeners reading this right now? I am an amateur vegetable gardener myself. Just in the past few years have I picked it up and begun to garden.
The first year I did it was pretty much a fail. The second year I did it, I managed to have my father, who loves to garden, here to help me. My garden did awesome that year.
Last year, I attempted to do it on my own once again. I tried to remember all that my father taught me, but it ended up being OK at best.
So this year I decided to ask my father to come supervise me in my gardening. He was more than happy to. This past weekend we worked together on getting my garden put together. I am excited to have it planted and look forward to caring for it all summer and receiving the fruits of my labor.
As I sit here thinking about my gardening ability, I see a connection to how many of us handle our lives. This life has so much to throw at us, and we travel through so many different circumstances. When you think about the different ways I have handled my garden, which way tends to be the way you do life?
One way is the way I did my garden the first year. I was completely blind. I thought I could just figure it out. I went at it on my own.
What was the result of doing my garden that way? It flopped. I barely got any crop from it. I felt like I failed. My summer and resources were wasted. How many of us are going through life like this? We handle each day on our own thinking we have all the answers. Our motto is, “I can handle it.” Is that you?
Then there are the ones that handle it like my third year. I asked my father for help in the past, so I go to work on my own this time. I remember some things and do a little right, but the result is still not great. In life this looks like the person who has sought council in the past from God and kind of have an idea of what we are doing. We push ahead knowing we have done it with him in the past and thinking we can handle now on our own. Our motto is, “I know enough.” Does that describe you?
The final option is the years two and four me. This me was humble enough to realize that I could not do it right on my own. I needed my father. I needed his guidance. I needed him directing me each and every day. From it, I received an amazing fruit for my labor.
This is the person who realizes that they are absolutely dependent upon their Heavenly Father and his guidance. Every day they wake up begging for him to lead and guide them. They know their strength is from him and him alone. They know that anything worthwhile comes from him and through him. The Bible encourages us to live like this in the book of Psalms.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil, it will be healing to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV).
Notice what the Psalmist says. “In all your ways” we are to trust and acknowledge him. It is not just in the hard times. It is not just when we think we don’t understand. Every moment of every day is a moment that we need Jesus.
Our natural tendency is to do it on our own and not look to God, but he is longing for you to look to him. He is waiting for you to turn to him. Would you do that today? Maybe you have asked in the past, and this can be your moment to say, “At all times from here on out.”
Maybe you have never asked and this is your moment to cry out and acknowledge that you need him more than anything else. I just invite you to learn from my gardening and don’t try to do life on your own. Look to Jesus and trust him with everything.
Heavenly Father. Today I come realizing that I have often gone about life on my own strength and my own understanding. As I sit here, I am realizing my need for you more and more. I cannot do this on my own. I cannot continue pressing ahead with the weight. I need you. Thank you that you want me to lean into you. Thank you that I can turn to you. Thank you for being willing to guide my life. It is no longer my own, I give it to you. Amen!
Thanks for reading and responding this week. Did the Lord grab your heart from this devotional? Are you looking for people to lean into Jesus together with? We at Bethany Alliance Church would love to lean into Jesus together in this. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 641-228-1318, or message us on Facebook @BethanyAllianceCC to connect with us.
Or better yet, join us on Sundays for our time to corporately come to the Father at 10 a.m. We would love to journey together with you in this. Hope to see you there!