Saturday, April 30, 2011

Garden of Growth

Green beans! I have green beans growing in my little balcony garden! This past week I discovered that a handful of green beans have sprouted from my little garden. So far I've pulled two, but there are plenty more that need to hang on for a little longer. Last year only three sprouted so this is an incredible jump in growth! OK, I know some of you are laughing. Yes, it's kind of pitiful if you think about it, but I love the idea that something edible is growing in my garden. Actually, I love the idea that something is simply growing! It's been a lot of hard work. Watering daily and making sure the sunlight is just right is not always easy to remember. But what a rewarding moment it is to sit back in the lawn chair and realize for the first time that there are actual beans hanging from the stems of the once plain green plant! God is so good! I'm sure He's smiling and laughing with me at this small yet powerful discovery!

Something very similar occurred in my heart over the past several weeks as well. The 21 day Daniel fast ended last week and I've been allowed to have practically any food that I want for the last several days. Granted on Easter I ate my fill of wonderful strawberry cake, carrot cake, and cookies, but other than that the sweets are limited and the junk food is remaining off limits. A treat every now and again maybe, but surprisingly I don't miss it! What I do miss are the quiet mornings of devotion time with God when I took extra time to meditate and think over the purpose of the fast and the opportunity to grow closer to  Him. It wasn't anything new. I've always started the morning with a quiet time, but the last three weeks there was a clear focus and an open heart. Not a major change, but definitely some growth going on in the garden of my heart. Sadly, when the fast was over it was like everyday life just fell into my lap and I've been trudging on ever since.

Praise God for this time now to sit and share the experience and receive a gentle nudge of a reminder that I can always go back. Do I need to fast again? Well, maybe for a day or even a couple of hours to help re-set my focus, but what really needs to change is my perspective. During the fast it felt like God was carrying my burdens for me. They were still there, but I was looking to Him for advice and guidance on how to handle them. When the fast ended, I (for some reason) assumed I had to take the load back since "fast time" was over. The truth is, God wants to be our guide, comforter, friend, Father, Savior, and yes, burden carrier all of the time. The purpose of the fast was to re-discover the amazing relationship He desires to have with each of us. The challenge after the fast is to allow continual growth by keeping the garden of our heart open and receptive to His voice and will.

It's not always easy, but the growth and leaps forward down His path are definitely worth it. So here we go to another 21 days and more of leaving the burdens and problems with God, taking extra time to literally stop and smell the beauty of creation, and enjoy times of prayer and devotion with the Father!


  1. Congratulations on your garden! "21 days at a time" sounds do-able to me.:) Have a blessed weekend.

  2. I love how you paralled the growing of your garden with the growing of your faith.