Saturday, March 31, 2012


I love purple iris.  Besides tulips and daffodils they are one of the first to peek out of the ground.  But I have a problem.  I've planted some to near a bush where they've grown too tall.  Instead of pleasing the eye, they seem rather like a weed . . . out of place, like they don't belong there.  They need to be moved to a different location because where they are now is just not working.  Gardener's wisdom tells us that any plant in the wrong place is no different than a weed in need of removing.  These iris plants have indeed bloomed where they were planted, but how much greater their beauty if placed in a spot meant just for them. 

I've been seeking the Lord for His direction on a number of things lately, and as I was preparing to teach the high school girl's Bible study last weekend, it came.  It was so sudden and direct, that it shocked me. I had read these thoughts many times before.  They were familiar to me.  But this time they were alive with the Spirit's prompting and the words jumped off the page at me.  I've been seeking to obey God in what I believe He is asking me to do, but not been willing to make life adjustments to allow that to happen.

A tree bears fruit in its season, and God is leading me to make some radical changes for the purpose of adjusting my life to the calling of this season.   I've been involved in a lot of ministries which when began years ago, were indeed God's direction at that time, but I've assumed they've continued to be what He wants of me.  But God has intercepted those callings with a new direction, and in fact, given me an urgency to them.  Neglect of what I believe God is asking will result in dire consequences, not the least of which is the lack of my own spiritual growth.

Over the years I have indeed been seeking to obey God in these areas, but can't seem to gain ground.  But now I realize its because I've been blooming in the wrong place, and perhaps growing too tall in that place.  Maybe a little pride has crept in.  I wasn't willing to make adjustments in my life to carry out this new calling.  Why?  Because these changes meant I would have to go out on a limb.  It required a crisis of belief. 

Do I really believe God has called me to finish this writing project? Yes. Are my husband and children so important that they need to come first?  Yes.  Have they been neglected on the back burner?  Yes.  What if I am just conjuring up my own ideas of what I want to do and what if it is not really from God?   Then it will surely fail.  And what will others think of me then?  Does it matter what others think of me?  No.  I am accountable before God.  He is the one I seek to please.  But can I possibly trust God to enable it to happen, since I don't even have the skills or courage required?  Yes, He is able.  And so I must stop these other good things I'm doing, in order to do what is best, what He has called me to.  I must stop trying to bloom in a place that is competing with what God wants me to concentrate on. 

I do need to complete the commitments I've made, but these decisions have given me such great rest, contentment, and encouragement.  And so I've made a fairly radical decision to be intentional about tending to my family and to writing.  I've decided to take a season of rest from teaching Sunday school, from the youth missions trip, and from teaching Bible studies.  And dare I say it?  Maybe from teaching at VBS as well.  I don't know yet, and it pains me to say that because I was really looking forward to it.  How I love to teach children the Bible!  It is in my heart and soul.  And what will people think of my absence?  But God would bring down my pride and this is one way He is doing it.  And in my pride I've realized I have not been willing to trust God and let go of these ministries.  I've not been willing to make the adjustments necessary to obey what He's asked me to do in this season of life. 

And so, like that iris which needs to be replanted, God is directing me to a different place in ministry.  I won't say it is to be this way always, but for a season.  I just want to obey Him.  I believe that He has directed me to finish what was started, to complete the writing, and to concentrate my energies on my family's needs.  I need to minister in a place where no one sees and no one knows.  How easy to do our works before men to be seen by them.  I don't think that has been my motive for the most part, but I easily slip into that when it comes to what other people expect of me. 

And, by the way, I've had a recent breakthrough with the writing.  It is still a ton of work and requires some serious discipline of my mind and time, but I am approaching it on my knees, with even more awareness of my own inadequacies and my utter dependence on God.  Because God things cannot be accomplished on human fuel.  I am only the instrument in His hands.  Does the plant fight the gardener?  I guess in some cases where there are thorns involved a person could say that.  But it's a comical sight to imagine.  No the plant must grow wherever the gardener places it, even if that means being uprooted from all that is familiar and being transplanted to a better place.  This is my desire, to simply submit to the Gardner. 

1 comment:

  1. God bless you on this adventure! So hard to make changes, but what peace when we embrace what HE has for us! It will be wonderful to see what He has in store for you! :)