Saturday, May 12, 2012

Yardwork of the Soul With God

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Another holiday has come and for so many, the day will not be a picture perfect Hallmark card. The reasons are as numerous as the number of eyes drifting  across this page. When life has been grueling and there's no relief in sight, God can get lost in the details.

I plead guilty. I lost him. Tho' I knew he never lost me, I lost him. Have you ever felt that way? The details of life swept me away until I was awash in a sea of despair. I understand what Job meant when he said, “When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.” (Job 23:9 NIV) I know how he felt when he said, “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him... When he passes me, I cannot see him; when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.” (Job 23:8 and 9:11 NIV)

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Over the last several months, I have begun to pray for spiritual eyes to see God when, in my human frailty, I might miss him. The boys and I pray for the opportunity to encourage others, but we also pray for the ability to see encouragement when it is right in front of our preoccupied eyes. I wanna tell you it makes me feel good to pray that prayer because my prayer gets answered in the next few minutes. See me shaking my head?

Wanna know what's happened since I started praying that prayer? So many things here at fraidy cat central have broken it's a wonder I get anything done. If I'm not busy being preoccupied with those disruptions, all I have to do is walk outside to be reminded life is chaos.

The early onset summer heat and rain have made what should be my idyllic looking backyard look like a South American rainforest. I had it  all under control till my leg broke. Since then, not so much. If I could wave a magic wand, I'd create a yard man to come fix what I'll never be able to catch up with before an anaconda takes residence out there.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Today was a perfect day for meandering around my backyard rainforest. Instead of meandering, I mowed. Uphill both ways. If you saw my yard, you'd know I'm speaking the truth. In the midst of my mowing, when I wasn't praying to live thru the experience, I talked to God about how out of control life feels. I was scared to death my runaway yard is a picture of my chaotic, weed-choked heart: fraught with good intentions but undisciplined and out of control.

I found myself praying for help out there. Not lots of help. Only little bits of help here and there because I know our penny pinching lifestyle won't bear much in the way of overhauling this yard and starting over. Given that reality, I asked for a way to find encouragement to keep working towards what seems like the impossible.

I came in and found the testosterone unit in charge making order out of chaos here at fraidy cat central. He was doing that for me because I was doing the yard work for him. It's an uneasy arrangement because he wishes his health would allow us to switch places. Since it won't, I feel like I get the better end of the deal: free exercise while he fixes stuff for me. One small appliance was fixed just in time for our Mother's Day meal prep. He had the fridge on the mend just in time as well.

Courtesy R. Harper
I sat to rest a minute which, as you know, included looking at Facebook for a minute or 30. Up popped a picture from a friend who was selling some yard sale items online: 50ft of lawn edging for a $teal. I had just been wondering how much edging would co$t and how long till I could afford it. I had to shake my head and chuckle right out loud.

So many times, we look for God in the big things and fail to find him in the mundane things of life – like lawn edging. I saw the picture of lawn edging and saw more than yard work in my future. I saw a God who sees my chaotic, out of control soul and, tho' I've lost him, he knows right where I am.

He sent me a postcard. It said, “I see your out of control yard, and I see your out of control soul. Just as I've provided the lawn edging to encourage you about your yard, I have my eye on your soul. I'm working in you just like you are working in this yard that troubles you so. Tho' you look for me and cannot find me, I am here. You are mine. My plan for you will not be overgrown and choked out by the weeds of despair. I am the Master Gardener who specializes in lawn edging of the soul.”

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Oh, fraidy cat, is your soul like mine: overgrown, choked by weeds, too far gone to attempt a rescue anymore? May I introduce you to my Master Gardener? If you have lost him, or maybe never even looked for him before, he knows right where you are. All you have to do is look around at his creation to know he is a Creator God who pays attention to the small details of life. He is the Master Gardener with the perfect plan for our out of control souls, yours and mine.

Love you long and strong, fraidy cat. Come back and walk with me again sometime? Till then, know this: my prayer is that you and I will both know the Master Gardener is at work in the chaos of our souls.

Courtesy B. Creasy
Psalm 138:8 (NIV)
The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever--do not   abandon the works of your hands. 


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