From Breaking to Breakthrough
I don't have a gift for gardening, but I have a husband who does. Also, I have a granddaughter who loves dirt. So I'm learning some stuff.
One simple lesson I've learned: water makes dirt softer, and the sun makes it harder. I bought some plastic flowers on sticks for my granddaughter to "plant" in her garden. A few week's ago, during the rainy season, we could easily push the plastic stems into the ground. Then the sun came out for a minute. Two days ago, when I tried to push the new plastic flowers into the ground, I broke the plastic stems. (I guess I can't even plant fake flowers.)
I see some lessons in this, reinforced by Hosea 10:12, which says:
"Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you."
First of all, when the pressures of life heats up, it can harden us, sometimes to the point where we will not receive the beautiful things God wants to give us. Our hearts become fallow, like the field that for a period are not cultivated to receive what it needed to grow good things.
Second, the rains are a blessing, no matter how inconvenient they may seem at the time. So are the plows. They may hurt us. They may break us. But just as with the soil, our master gardener can use these periods of softening and breaking to prepare us for greater growth and blessing.
Here's the thing... we get to choose whether we remain softened or hardened soil. When we break, we get to choose if and how we heal.
Do you count the challenges of your life as a reason for bitterness or an opportunity for growth?