As the year of Jubilee draws to a close more and more I think about the chain of events in this year.
How often can you place yourself in a specific time of your life and remember knowing exactly what was going on in that time frame? Most of you cannot place any. Many of us will assume we knew then because we know now. Some of us will go so far as to lie and say they understood it the whole time. The truth is, we don’t get it, because we have to travel thru it to learn something new. Something NEW. New, means we DIDN’T understand it before. Therefore I tell you, you can’t list the timeframes where you knew because well…. You didn’t.
Why am I bringing this up on a gardening website? It all started with Jubilee….. My year started with feeding my fall seedlings to my chickens, no spring garden and ended with all my goats gone (some dead) and almost all my chickens picked off by owls. That’s just the gardening/animal side of my life. It also included a grand plan for my husband to quit his 65k job and take a 12k job whiling starting up a new business. Don’t forget we have 5 children….. All attainable if you cash out the retirement and pay off the debts right? Sure!! Its Jubilee…. Year of debts being wiped away right? Fresh start right?? Except the time came to quit and he did, and there was no retirement money for 1 whole year. Run and go back right? No. We had to press forward because this is what God had called us too. It was the year of Jubilee alright and He was going to free us first from our spiritual debt, then the rest will come later.
So where was my spiritual debt in gardening? Goats? Chickens?? I mean seriously, how much spiritual gunk can one find in chickens? Apparently…. Tons. I started this website thinking and being told by God that I would help people who were worshiping idols such as the creation. He told be all about the troubles you have. I of course thought I didn’t have…. Again, how do you know what the timeframe is about if it is going to teach you something new….. I truly thought I had tackled this stuff. I hadn’t. Let me tell you a story that I believe started it all.
I was digging a hole. LOL what a start to a story… Anyway, I was planting new trees the Lord had given us for 50% off the 50% off price! What a deal! It was a pear tree (though I don’t think that matters). I asked the Lord “how many people are we going to feed with these trees you blessed us with?” “Thousands, 100’s of thousands”, came the answer. As you can imagine I rejoiced! “Is this what you called us to do then?” Promptly I received the answer. Clear as day, “no” He said. “What??, why the heck am I digging a hole then?” “Because you seek me here. I bless it because this is where you meet with me”. Somewhat devastated but feeling a little soothed I finished the tree planting. The “what are we called to?” question racked my brain for weeks. Months. Slowly I received the answers. We were called to feed people spiritually first, called to minister to young couples, called to write this blog. However the full answer came to me today. I’m called to do nothing lest my father in heaven says so.
Lets review. Called to write a blog to help people with problems they had I didn’t right? Wrong. My idol? Preparation, security in knowledge and provisions and the garden. How does God become your provider, Jehovah Jireh, if you think you can do it all yourself? Second idol, outside. Hiding from my marital and family problems outside. Outside gave me time to cool off, time to work it out. Right? Wrong. Outside gave me a way to ignore the problem and not communicate it to my family. All the while leaving them wondering if I would come back in happy or sad. Third idol, garden “prayer time”. I truly thought that my gardening was prayer time. I was informed by Jesus that is was “whine at God time”. Nothing is wrong with taking things to Jesus that you’re struggling with however, if you are doing all the talking, what kind of relationship is that? If Jesus met with me in the garden because I would be there, couldn’t he meet with me at my dishes? Laundry? Driving? Eating? Showers? Schooltime? Answer… YES!!! I didn’t want to meet there. I wanted to meet in the garden…. Hence…. Idol.
It felt good to provide for my family. It felt good to grow something and watchhard work produce something. It felt good to go outside and relax where no one was talking and I didn’t have to parent or wife for a minute. Those things ARE good. They are not good when done with the wrong motivation. Faith, not fear, should propel our every move. How can it be by faith if you haven’t heard to do it from the Lord? You can’t. This year I’ve watched Jesus provide for us in ways unimaginable, with truly nothing to do but pray “Lord, keep doing what you’re doing”. In the hardest parts of this year, (45 days past due on most of my bills if not further, dead or dieing animals around me, dead or dieing trees around) the one thing I KNEW….. This was what God had called us to. I couldn’t judge my success this year in the worldly ways of security and well-being. I HAD to judge it by obedience. The more we obeyed the more the Lord provided in other things. Love for my husband, joy in my children, and security in Him. Peace truly in my life. You don’t get those things with your bills paid and your self-sufficient homestead I don’t care how much you say you do, unless they are what God has called you to.
Miraculously, (ha ha sarcasm here) every time I sought Jesus elsewhere than the garden, he was there. I admit, I sought Him less because I didn’t know how to seek Him elsewhere fully yet. So this is why He started stripping me of everything I would “do” to seek Him; gardening, outside, goats and eventually chickens. Till finally I cried out to Him in desperation “Lord, take it all if that’s what keeps me from you”! Suddenly, we were making progress! Suddenly I could hear him when I drove again, see Him in the scriptures I read to my children, lie down and hear him during prayer service at church. Suddenly, I get it. If I seek Him everywhere I go, in everything I do, then I don’t have any idols, I have worship of Jesus and Him alone. I don’t need a garden to do that.
I need to address something briefly. Is God a “Mean God” by stripping me? No. If I would have listened fully in the beginning, there wouldn’t have been anything to strip. I would have just set it down. It wouldn’t have to be ripped from my hands like a toy a kid is clinging to after winning the tug-a-war with another kid over the toy. I’m sorry, I’m cracking up at myself here…. The visual is hilarious to me. The look of pure horror on the toddlers face as we mom’s explain how sharing works… This was totally my face during parts of this year.
My children and husband have been freed from things also and amidst all this learning obedience, God has blessed us with a 6th child. He’s not a mean God, He’s a just a righteous one that wants us to move from fear of a spanking for disobedience, toward obedience because we want to part of the team, part of the plan, part of the miracle of this thing called a relationship with Him.
I challenge you, ask yourself a few questions. Who is my provider really? Why do I garden? Why do I have animals? Why do I like being outside? Why do I like my yard to look nice? If those answers don’t include obedience to a calling from Jesus, do something about it, quick. Repent, ask and obey. Desire His will for your life. Trust me, it’s the best life you could imagine.