Hearing God in the Garden: A summer blog series
As you may have noticed from the previous blogs; I tend to travel a tad bit during the summer gardening season. And knowing this, when my garden was built, my husband was kind enough to put a sprinkler system in it. Why? Because it does not matter how well that garden is planted or cared for when I am there, if it’s not tended to when I’m not then that lack of water will bring utter destruction to every single plant. Water is an absolute necessity for any garden plain and simple. The water or rain offers daily nourishment that is not available as a substitute. And as life just tends to go sometimes, I arrived back home to find that half of my garden looked amazing while the other half look close to death. I soon realized that a few sprinkler heads had broken or malfunctioned. The repercussion of this was that my garden was starving for what is needed the most…water
And just like half of the garden is deprived of the necessity of water, so it is with our lives sometimes. Let me just speak honestly for a moment and if I hit too close to home –well I am sorry but not sorry. What part of your lives are you watering? Have you even checked the sprinkler heads in each area to make sure they are performing optimally? And when you find that one is not in order, what do you do? Do you ignore it while thinking that it is not that important or that it quite possibly may get better on its own? Or do you fix it immediately?
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
I want to ask you a question? Do you feel absolutely overwhelmed with life? Do you lay in bed at night struggling to figure out how to “get it all done”? Do you wake up in the morning only to begin the day with a multitude of reasons why you should just lay back in bed and pull the pillow over your head? Do you find yourself in a panicked, rushed, out-of-control state most days? Friends, I have lived in this season, and I know what it feels like. It is exhausting and so overwhelming. Here are things that I have said repeatedly during these times of my life. See if you can relate.
I just have so much to do today that I cannot see straight.
I will never get all of this done.
How did I get so behind?
I think I will feel better if I can just get through half of the list.
I am frustrated!
I am tired!
I am overwhelmed!
These seasons have left me feeling depleted. Sound familiar?
“Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25
The next question I want to ask you is this: Are you watering the wrong part of your garden first? Are you putting so much water in one area that by the time you get to the others, the well is simply dry? God designed us to live our lives in a certain order. That order always begins with Him. The reason being is that when we put God first, He has a way of prioritizing life for us. Here, the well is filled from a source that never runs dry. When we walk close to God and let Him be the source of our fulfillment, this source of life and water trickle down to the rest of our lives. But when we water the wrong parts first, the well is depleted quickly. For instance, if you prioritize anything at all over Christ, that source will never have the limitless supply that Christ offers to you freely and abundantly. Therefore, the trickle effect does not happen, and your entire life is now void of the source of life.
“But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
I love this story in the Bible. Martha was not doing wrong by cleaning and busying herself to make things perfect for Jesus, but her priorities were in the wrong order. She was simply watering the wrong part of the garden first. It is not that the things that we are doing in life are sinful or wrong, they are just out of order. And I will tell you from my very own experiences when life Is out of order and your day does not begin with the love and direction of Christ, you will live in a constant state of frustration.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
You may be saying to yourself right now; I do not have time to add anything else to my day. Friend, you do not have time not to add Christ to your day. Serve the world first and you be living in a constant state of stress because that reservoir is only capable of holding so much water. But serve the Lord first and He fills the areas of your life that need attention. Please hear this: There is nothing that is more important than your time with Christ. Nothing should ever be placed above Him. Not your marriage, not your kids, not your friends, and not your work. He sits on the throne therefore He gets the First of all that we are. You see, the well only runs dry when you water from the wrong source.
If you find yourself in a state of overwhelmed stress right now, here are a few practical ways to improve the chaos.
Start your day every single day with Christ. Set aside a time and a place where your entire house knows not to interrupt you in this space.
In this time, let Him fill you up for the day. Ask Him to align your priorities for His purposes.
When you feel exhausted and defeated, go back to the well and gain your truth and direction from there.
Remember that you will NEVER get it ALL done. That is why we need God to prioritize our lives.
Do not be afraid to set boundaries with time, things, and people.
My challenge to you today is to take some time to examine the priorities in your life. Have you prioritized your life to meet the unending demands of the world around you? If this is the case, I encourage you to take a step back and re-adjust the course of your day. Allow God to prioritize your day. Ask Him to adjust the things that are out of sync with His plan for your life. We must realize that we are all given the same number of hours in a day -no more no less. We will never “get it all done,” but when we start with God as the first, we can rest assured that the most important aspect of our day has been taken care of.
This week, the daily readings will focus on prioritizing Christ FIRST each day.
If you have questions or things that you don't understand, please email them to me and I will add them to the Q&A section. I can't promise you that I will have all of the answers, but I can promise I will do my best to find them if I don't have them.
Growing in God
Would you like a tool to encourage your growth in God? Check out my newly released 12-month spiritual disciplines book/journal. This journal will give you a brief understanding of 8 tangible spiritual disciplines as well as give you a space to implement these disciplines into your daily walk with God.