Uncovering Treasure

I love to garden! But I have to admit this year was not a stellar year for vegetables at our home. The soil was tilled, fertilized and rows marked. The anticipation that came from laying the seeds in the freshly turned dirt was soon rewarded by little sprouts pushing their way up through the soil. The excitement built…until the challenges set in.

First it was the woodchucks…sure they have a cute little tongue twister written about them and in February we like to believe they help predict the coming of Spring (yes, the groundhog & the woodchuck are the same varmint) but when it comes to gardens they are downright EVIL!! Not long after the beans and other veggies popped their heads up, the woodchucks helped themselves to a little snack. The beans were blinged, zinnias zapped, even the squash had been snacked on. I was not happy. We replanted the beans, sprayed some sort of stuff that was supposed to keep away the varmints and hoped. It didn’t work.

While disappointed at the loss of crops, there were a few plants left in the garden. The tomatoes were thriving, and the yellow squash had escaped along with a few others. There was still some hope. Then I turned my back for just a day or so. When I turned back all I could see were WEEDS! I couldn’t believe how quickly they had grown and how hard it was to see anything in the midst of them. Again it seemed hopeless.

Then it happened. One day I walked past the garden and saw something round and green where the tomatoes were planted. “No” I thought, “A tomato couldn’t possibly have survived amidst those weeds, could it?” A closer look revealed it was indeed a healthy green tomato. I weighed the options. I could pick that green tomato, fry it up and no longer think about the weedy tomato patch or I could clear a little space around it to let more sunlight in. The third option was to take the plunge and attack those weeds. It didn’t seem possible that there could be much more hidden in that patch but one day I decided to give it a shot.

I pulled.

I dug.

I sweated.

I got really, really dirty.

But I uncovered the treasure!!

 

Somehow beneath the piles of weeds the tomatoes had not only lived, they had thrived! They began to mature and develop fruit. The more I cleared the more excited I got. Not only was there one thriving , there were several. In fact all that we planted escaped the woodchucks, and even the weeds couldn’t beat them!

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.                      Philippians 1:6

While I was clearing those weeds I began thinking about what might be hiding beneath the weeds in my own life. I thought about the hopes and dreams that I have allowed to get drowned out by the weeds of discouragement and fear. Instead of being confident in God’s promise to complete the works He has started in me and working hard to overcome the things that get in the way I gave up hope and just allowed the “weeds” to have their way. I lost sight of the treasure within me but that doesn’t mean the treasure is gone. It may take some more digging and sweating, and certainly faith and determination. But if God began those works in me I can be confident that He will complete them if I allow Him to help me uncover the treasure and fit the proper pieces back into the puzzle in my life.

Are there hidden treasures in your life that you’ve lost sight of? I’d be honored to pray with you that you would begin to believe once again that with God’s help you can uncover those treasures and find the peace that’s hiding beneath the weeds. Drop me a note and let me know how I can pray for you!

Wishing you blessings and peace today!

Paula

God’s Diversity In Unity

One of the most wonderful things about God’s creation is the diversity. The contrast of the cool green grass against the warm blue sky, dotted with the fluffy white clouds and at times a warm colorful rainbow shows us His diversity of color in creation. 

In the midst of any group of people we see another beautiful palette in our skin colors – dark, light, and all shades in between. As we look into each pair of eyes we see not only the greens, blues, browns and hazels looking back at us, but if we look carefully we also see through the eyes to get a glimpse of the soul. The changing eyes of humans show our happiness, love, grief, anger and so many more emotions that are given us by our Creator.

God also knew with all that is to be done for His Kingdom we couldn’t have the same skills and passions, so within each of us He planted seeds waiting to sprout, then blossom into a ministry for Him. Some are speakers, some writers. He gifted some of us with a passion for missions, some as pastors, children or youth ministers and others as musicians and worship leaders. God also remembered that we need people behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly.

Our diversity is very important for God’s work to be accomplished. But looking out the window at a rose bush I was reminded of the “catch” to diversity in God’s creation.

One color of blossom on a rose bush is beautiful, but this bush was uniquely created. It was designed to highlight not just one, but three bloom colors. Without all three colors it would not be all that it is meant to be.

1 Corinthians 12 reminds us of God’s desire for His body. He loves each of us as individuals and created each of us with a great deal of beauty. But combined with the other colors in His palette we become the complete picture of His creation. One part is not more important and no one’s importance is lesser. Just as we don’t look at the parts of our own bodies and say that the foot isn’t as important as the eye, etc. we should not look at each part of the body of Christ to figure out which is the most important.

If the peace in your puzzle is off kilter, look at your part in the body of Christ. Do you see yourself as lesser important in the midst of others? Or do you see yourself as better than the other parts? Either view can rob us of our peace and the beauty of God’s creation suffers.

I encourage you today to become acquainted with 1 Corinthians 12 and pray about your part in the body of Christ. Find the positive qualities of those around you, and of yourself. And remind yourself of the balance. God loves you! He created you as a beautiful piece of His puzzle. 

May you find your peace in Him today.                                                                                                  Paula

Just A Trickle

Some days the grace and goodness of God seem to rush over me like a waterfall. Life seems so full of good times and the promise of a rich and blessed future.

Other days are hard. Life seems to press in on me and the blessings are hard to see. The waterfall seems to have slowed to a trickle.

On those days I find comfort in knowing that Jesus had times like that too. Throughout the gospels we see times when Jesus was overwheled by crowds and pressed in by those who wanted something from Him.

What did Jesus do during those times? He found an opportunity, withdrew to a “lonely place” and prayed (Luke 5:16). These were His times of recharging and refreshing. He drew closer to His Father to be fed and to rest in His strength. Those times gave Jesus what He needed to continue on in His own ministry.

We need those times of refreshing as well. When we retreat to a place where God can fill us and strengthen us…even for a few minutes we will also be ready to continnue our ministries…at home, at work, at church, wherever God has placed us. In His strength we will have all we need, even when we don’t feel the rush we might be hoping for.

God promises to supply all our needs, and He is faithful to keep His promises. It may still feel like just a trickle, but we will find that trickle is just enough.