I love to dig in the dirt and get my hands in the soil. To watch as one, tiny plant becomes part of the Father’s landscape is a feast of wonder. More amazement comes from beholding a portrait of an entire garden and realizing it is an artwork, not only of an earthly gardener, but also of the master Creator.
My journey with Jesus shares much with the love and labor a gardener places into her soil. I often have to dig to prepare my heart so that I can grow into stillness or rejoice with illumination. It takes precious investment of time and requires work, as I surrender to the Father and allow His holy hands to tend the soil of my soul. His tending is a humbling experience, and it provokes a change in my personal lifestyle, which is only lived by God’s gift of grace.
After walking with Jesus for a number of years, I am finding, more and more, that with the Trinity, quality is much more important than quantity. Spending hours with Jesus is good, but so much more important is soil surrender - giving my whole self to the hands of my Gardener. Being relinquished to him.
I'll never forget the time I first heard the word "relinquishment." I was a young wife and mother and often grew disillusioned with my role as a pastor's wife and as a mother.
According toThe Free Dictionary,http://www.thefreedictionary.com/relinquishment, relinquishment means to give up or abandon; to let go; to surrender; and, my favorite, to cease holding.
Relinquishment is the key to walking with Jesus. It is the path to the Lord's path. The more I give up of myself, the more I experience peace, hope, faith, love, and all the enduring qualities only he can give. Relinquishment is abandonment of my own and reception of God's own.
Father, help me to listen with intention, to give less of my voice and hear more of yours; to be less focused on doing and more focused on being; to let you lead me to your word, rather than allowing the selfish desire for knowledge to rule me.
As a teen, I had an inspirational poster on the wall of my soft pink bedroom. The poster had a lovely picture of a large, ravishing tree, with the following scripture from Colossians 2.7:
Just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so go on living in him—in simple faith. Grow out of him as a plant grows out of the soil it is planted in, becoming more and more sure of the faith as you were taught it, and your lives will overflow with joy and thankfulness.
Those words from Colossians became the anchor of my young soul. I meditated on them daily and have never forgotten them, and they are yet my mainstay because of their prolific truth. I often find myself telling my Gardener, as Simon Peter did long ago, “Where in the world could I go but to you, Jesus? You are the only One Who has anything worthy to offer me. You are the only way to eternal life” (John 6.68, my paraphrase).
Father and Creator of life, place your hands into the soil of my soul and create in me a well, wherein my roots will run deep. Lord, give me grace to yield to your tender care so that real peace will reign in me and real life flow from me.
“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me” Psalm 42.7, NIV.