“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”—Jeremiah 29:11
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our day-to-day survival that we lose sight of who God is.
Because we don’t see Him sitting across the table, having coffee with us each morning, it’s easy to relegate Him to some far removed throne—too busy with important things to be concerned with the details of our lives.
In the limited perspective of our humanity, we tend to forget that The Father of Creation is not limited by time or space.
I received a reminder of this not too long ago, when my eighteen-year-old daughter announced that she no longer shared our beliefs, and she was going to see what the world had to offer. I know this is “normal” for most young adults trying to find their place in the world, but I was crushed. I think every Christian parent hopes their children will come to love and serve The Lord and avoid the heartache rebellion brings, and I’m no exception.
But, the day after this announcement, I was working on my book, Watch God Work, the story of my miraculous healing from cancer, when I came across a blog entry from September, 2010.
Here is an excerpt from that post:
I often dream of planting gardens. In these dreams as in real life, there is such joy and anticipation in the planting as I envision the lush, green growth filling the plot and the harvest of beautiful, flavorful, fully developed fruits and vegetables. However, in these dreams, what usually happens is that life intervenes; I get sick, or other circumstances keep me from watering, weeding, and nurturing my garden like I should. The dreams end sadly, when I happen to remember what I started and am grief stricken at my failure. In some dreams, the plants have managed to grow somehow and even set fruit, but have all died down when I find them. And always, I vow to do better next spring.
I had a different garden dream yesterday. In this dream, Chuck was walking me out to the back yard to show me the garden. I resisted, because I knew I had failed the garden once more, and I didn’t want to be reminded of it. But, when I looked out where he pointed, I saw the biggest garden I had ever seen. It was more like a field. And it was thriving with every kind of fruit and vegetable imaginable! Even as I looked, green was breaking through the earth and growing, literally taking over every inch of bear ground it could find! It was so amazing, all I could say was, “Chuck, look!”
And this was the really amazing part: The Lord, God spoke to me! (And, no, this doesn’t happen every day) He told me that we would have all we needed to get us through the coming storm. In my dream, this was symbolized by the Revolutionary War, and I knew we would be under siege, but I’m not sure exactly what it was referring to in my time. Then, He told me that all the seeds I have been planting will not be wasted, but will grow and thrive and produce fruit, even though I think I have failed to nurture them. That is what the garden represented, and why it was so much bigger than I remembered planting!
I’m telling you, I was so humbled by His loving encouragement, I cried. Those of you who know me, or have been following me for some time know how I struggle with being of service to God when I am so restricted by my pain and seemingly constant illnesses. But I don’t have to struggle anymore. And neither do you. Keep seeking Him; He loves you and wants to bless you. No matter how bad things get, there is always something to praise Him about—the harder you look, the more you find. Don’t be discouraged. God is using you right where you are, when you share His amazing love with others. I know that now, without a doubt. And I rejoice even more in my infirmities! Thank you, Jesus, for letting me plant your garden!
When I read these words again, two years after writing them, all my fears vanished. Years before I even knew a storm was coming, God had gone before me, making provision for my every need.
I know this isn’t the worst I will face here on Earth, but I also know that whatever comes, my Father has already been there, and He’ll be waiting to meet me on the other side, a crown of blessing in His extended hands.
We may not always receive a person-to-person call from God, reminding us that He has our backs, but we do have His personal letter to us, The Bible, a constant reminder of His faithfulness.
It may seem at times that God is far from us, swooping in just in the nick of time to help us if we’re lucky. But, not only is He a constant companion, He goes before us, insuring us the victory.
God has your back—believe it.
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”—Isaiah 49:10
God’s grace and peace be yours,