At the start of the pandemic, I felt an invitation from the Lord to plant a garden at the front of my home. I prepared the garden plot, purchased only the best soil that Home Depot could offer me, and eagerly began planting my gardener’s paradise. As I placed each flower into the soil, I asked the Lord to highlight areas in my own heart that He was inviting me to cultivate in this season. He asked me to reconsider the fast pace at which I was living, and to create new rhythms and routines in my life. He asked me to rest, to listen for His voice, to stand in the tension of joy and pain in my workplace, and to hold my hands open to whatever each day holds.
At first, the flowers in my garden were thriving. I gave them the perfect amount of water and ensured that they received optimal sunlight. I was committed to faithfully tending to what I had planted. However, day by day, as the world seemingly reopened and as the initial jolting impact of the pandemic wore off, I slowly began sinking back into my old rhythms and routines. This meant that only a small - and then non-existent - margin of time and capacity was left to offer to my precious garden. Unbeknownst to me, weeds started to appear and threaten the survival of what I had previously been so intentional about cultivating. One day, a friend expressed concern when he saw that the garden was so overgrown with weeds that my flowers were barely visible.
I was devastated. How did the weeds grow so quickly? How had I not noticed them creeping up? The following day, I woke up in the quiet hours of the morning to rip out every single weed that had claimed space in my garden. The Lord has used my little garden to remind me that what He has deposited in my heart in this season has to be nurtured in order for it to be sustained.
Today, my garden doesn’t look like much from the sidewalk. It doesn’t look like much from any angle, really. The flowers are a little withered and many have died over the past several months. Yet, I am committed to protecting what life remains—who knew weeds could be so persistent? It’s certainly not the garden I envisioned when this journey began, and needless to say, I’ve given up on my YouTube gardening tutorial aspirations. However, my little garden is a continual reminder of the Lord’s redeeming grace as I turn my eyes back to Him. The joy I have received from this pursuit is immeasurable. He is making all things new.