Each first comes with excitement. Everything new is well cared for. It is cherished and nicely stored in the treasure chest of our hearts, from our first kiss, first home, first home and so on. The first can never be again. A new house welcomes with a “leave your shoes at the door” mat. A new car gets a “no eating allowed” tag. A new hairdo cannot take part with rain and comes with a “sleep cute” policy. All of our “news” is guarded and loved, but how does it last? Does it come with an expiration date?
I wanted to do something this summer with my grand-daughter that would remind me of spending our very first summer together. We decided to plant a rose garden. We wanted to start small so we started with three roses. We carefully plotted the area, being careful to choose an area that would get good sunlight and drainage. I was excited and Skylar was just as excited. She made me promise to send her pictures from time to time, especially when the roses were in full bloom.
After a week of tilling the area an adding food to the soil, Skylar and I had planted our first three rose bushes. I wanted a peach color and Skylar chose red and yellow. Skylar and I checked on our roses a few times a day, whether it was a glance from the back porch or a little walk out to garden, we wanted to check on its progress. We knew it was not going to magically give us tons of bloom in a matter of days, but we were excited.
A week later we decided to buy two more rose bushes to add to our garden and we did. In just a few weeks our garden had become our own beautiful garden; it was small but it was ours and we had done it together.
It was getting closer and closer for Skylar to head back to the west coast. For the first two weeks, we visited our garden everyday, but as time past the visits became few. Skylar was busy putting in last-minute visits with other family members before leaving. She and I had a few places we wanted to visit before she had to leave.
Some days our garden only got a quick glimpse as we were sitting out on the porch or entering the house after returning home.
On August 26, Skylar and I left for San Diego. Neither of us thought to pay our garden a visit before leaving. We never spoke of our garden during my stay in California.
I returned on September 7th. The week I was gone I was told it rained just about everyday.
The day I returned home, I remember glimpsing out and I saw a couple of red, yellow and peach roses standing tall; I never thought to walk out to get a closer look. I never thought that maybe the roses may have gotten too much water and there could be root rot. I never thought to check to see if there were a branch or two that needed pruning, which could potentially kill the entire bush. I didn’t think to go closer to find out if there were any signs of insects that might be slowly eating away at the garden; The is the garden I wanted around for a long time to remind me of the very first summer Skylar and I had spent together; it was no longer a priority.
What had happened to our excitement? How could I have allowed this to happen to something that meant so much to me? How did I allow all of our time to be wasted? The garden didn’t look at all like the garden Skylar and I had created. It was nearly consumed by weeds, so much so until the roses was hardly visible. Two of the bushes were only a few inches taller than the weeds. Two had died and one had only a sign of life.
As I stood gazing into what was once our beautiful garden, I was led to write this post: WHERE IS THE LOVE YOU PROMISED ME! It’s funny how we are so excited about things in the beginning and over time we lose the excitement. We were so excited about its conception; It brought Skylar and I so much joy in the beginning, but what had happened?
This reminded me of an awakening a few months ago that had caused me to do an assessment of my life. I had seen how over time if not careful, we could be overtaken by situations, things and circumstances. Often times it’s not until out heads are barely above water, we left asking ourselves, “How did I get here? Why didn’t I see this coming? Why didn’t I see it sooner?” Yes I have said it all but it’s then that I had to pull on my faith, for like my garden, life was little to none. There were more dead things than life but I had to purposed that I was not going to be moved by what my eyes had seen, but by what I knew according to my faith. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see, Hebrews 11:1.” I had a choice to live or die. I had a choice to hold to my faith and live or believed what was before me and die.
I could have allow the extent of the things that had come to destroy my garden’s beauty, to make me give up. There were things that was slowly choking away its life. I could have become overwhelmed by the work needed to restore its beauty but I chose to declare its life. “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done, Psalms 118:17.”
In my case, I realized once again the sovereignty of our God. He won’t allow us to be overtaken in any way. If we are ever overtaken it’s by our own choice.
With life comes things promised. Often times we relate the promises of God with all good things, but a mother has to go through pain to give birth a child. Before the good things as we know it comes, sometimes we have to endure some bad, as we know it. Let’s also liken it unto purifying gold; in order for it to get to its purest state it must go through the fire.
Life will bring things that will cause us to exclaim as He did, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, Mathew 27:46?
It is then we have to hold fast to the same confession we started with and with the same excitement. Hold fast and know that He who has promised while we were yet in our good times, He remains faithful to His promises in what we call our bad times.
Regardless of what life brings, hold fast to His word. For the joy of the lord is what brings us strength. How are we going to remain strong and joyful; we do it by the word. Remain focus on the word and not our situations and I declare the excitement regardless of the season will forever be. Trees endures every season; they don’t look the same in each season but they don’t complain when things fall because after every lost, new things appear.
God is coming back for His temple and we want to be ready all times. We have to keep our house in order. The first sign of any thing that may come to invade our house we have to cut it away. We try to catch the first sign of anything that could go wrong with our natural house and we do that to limit the amount of damage. The same holds true for our temple. It’s a sacred place where we house His spirit. Let’s take care with much excitement to present ourselves as His. We want to grow more and more in the beauty of His likeness.
No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Still others are like the seeds sown among the thorns. They hear the word, but the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Yet others are like the seeds sown on good soil. They hear the word, receive it, and produce a crop—thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or a hundredfold. Mark 4:18-20.