Yesterday, I walked outside, slipped my shoes off and started dancing. I spun around in the yard with my hands lifted to the sky and did a laughing/crying thing out pure, sheer gratitude.
“Wait,” you might be thinking. “Didn’t I just read about how your yard was an utter wasteland?” (If you missed it, start here.) Yes! Four weeks ago I was sweeping the floors and mopping several times a day to combat the dirt and mud that was everywhere. I KNEW the promise of what was to come, but I was knee deep—literally—in mud.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the scriptures and the encouragement they provide that we might have hope. Rom 15:4
Hope. It started small. After the yard was hydromulched, I would check every day. Multiple times. I would stare at the brown expanse and ask the Lord to heal the wounds. Eventually I saw it—small hair thin strands of green. Every day a few more would appear. Each little blade of new grass buoyed my hope that restoration WOULD come.
My mind drifted to the Israelites who worked under the leadership of Nehemiah to do the impossible. They overcame countless obstacles and rebuilt the walls, celebrated, feasted and then we come to chapter ten.
On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads…They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God. Neh 10:1-3
Did you get that? They spent two quarters of the day, or twelve hours, standing in place and listening to the Word, confessing and worshipping. Twelve hours. Standing. In place. My first thought was that I wouldn’t even “sit” in the student section with my daughter—whom I adore—during an Aggie football game because you have to stand for three hours. These people stood for like four back to back games. But then I saw another perspective. It was their joy to stand.
They were a parched nation. Dry. Hungry for anything from the Lord. He had just shown His face to them and in the midst of their slavery where nothing was their own (Neh 10:37), what they could claim was the Lord. They NEEDED His Word.
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. Jer 15:16
Two days ago, the FedEx guy just stood in amazement. “WHAT happened here?” he asked. “How in the world did you get grass to come in so thick and so quick?” I grinned. “Water and fertilizer. It’s amazing what happens when you water three times a day,” I replied.
Yes, my yard was lush enough to host that little Aggie’s graduation party. The front is still a struggling sea of brown, but we have been babying the back giving it all kinds of nutrients and giving it in abundance.
While spinning in the yard, the Israelites came back to mind. What would happen if I had their same passion for the Word and worship? I KNOW that the Lord loves me, I know his Word, but what if I went off the standard watering plan?
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ “ Matthew 4:4
Like newborn babies, crave spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. 1 Peter 2:2
I could see the dramatic effects of additional nutrients in my yard by simply walking from the front to the back.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. John 6:63
I don’t know about you, but I CRAVE more life. To have more, I need more of Him—the giver—and He lives in His Word. I made a commitment to be like the Israelites. I may not do twelve hours, but I will move away from the standard watering plan and try a season of pouring on the additional nutrients. When you look at my yard, the wounds in the dirt have all but disappeared. New life is everywhere. I can have that for my spirit as well. The front, with the regular plan, is still torn up, brown and struggling. The back, with fertilizer and watering three times a day, looks like a dream. THAT is what I want my life to look like.
In my Spiritual walk, nutrients come in the form of time in the Word, time in Worship, time in Confession (or agreeing with God on Who He is and where my life is right now), time recording the goodness of the Lord and time fellowshipping with others and telling of His goodness.
Ok, so who is with me? Who is changing the settings on their watering plan to give themselves more nutrients? Let’s do this together! I can’t wait to see what He is going to do in your life. It’s going to be amazing!