Now, when I say "sit and visit" I mean it in a sense that I start to hear a "story" in my head and it gives me goosebumps in my heart. I listen intently for the message to unfold and I can't wait to share it.
It always happens when I find myself saying "thank you God, thank you God". I start to feel overwhelmed by His love because it is never ending and always enduring my faults.
We are getting ready for vacation, and our garden is producing a large harvest, therefore, I am trying to harvest as much as I can before we leave. Our gardens are important to us and we are thankful for the harvest. I've learned that it's fun to watch the harvest grow, but it's not always fun to do the work. I used to grumble about having to go out and pick the harvest, clean it, and prepare it for winter. It's a lot of work and takes a lot of time. I used to complain, until one year we didn't have a plentiful harvest. I would have given anything to be out there picking plentiful green beans...but they weren't there. Perhaps I forgot to give thanks.
Lesson 1: In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ~ 1 Thes. 5:18.
As I'm picking green beans, I'm noticing that it seems that I overlooked several green beans from the picking before. I know because of the size of the beans. Sometimes as any gardener may tell you, these green beans can hide themselves in their vines, because we seem to not see the fruit, and we completely overlook it. Blessings can be disguised this way too. Sometimes, we think we are seeing all of God's blessings, but we can miss many, because of many reasons. Most time, we won't see the fruits, because we are looking at the vines.
Lesson 2: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9
Next I notice that there are vines that do not seem to belong with the green beans. They are wrapped around the green bean plant and are making it's way all the way through the crop. I think these things are called creeping Jenny or something like that...but in any case they are not green beans, and if not addressed, they will kill the green bean plants and take over. The creeping Jenny is like sin in our life. It attaches to us, looks like it is "a part of us" like we were "born that way" and will choke out our true identity until we are no longer who we were created and we will no longer produce good fruit and will die. I didn't think twice about removing this creeping Jenny from my green beans and we should do the same about sin in our lives.
Lesson 3: The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. ~Matthew 13:22
Finally, I look at the crop and I think about all that went into it. You take a dead seed. Put it in the dirt, cover it up, water it, pull weeds, water, pull weeds, you care for it daily. You check on it. You harvest it and you, in return, reap the nutrients from it all year long. Like God... we are dead without him. Many are living without God in their lives. Many people believe money, greed and power will fulfill them. Many are struggling because they feel worthless and don't believe they deserve God's love. Some think God is racist. Some think God picks favorites. Truth is...you can take a dead life, whether it be yours or others, you can plant that life in Christ. You can die to your old ways, you can be a new creation, you can grow in Christ, you can water, and nurture, you can pull weeds, and you can harvest all the blessings he has for you.
Lesson 4: I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:6-7