Our cucumber vines have dried up. The tomato bushes are yellowing, the zucchini plants may still be green but there are no more blossoms. The yield from the garden has just about ended. Yet there are still a few vegetables I am hoping will ripen. It’s time to take out the summer garden and bring in the fall plantings but I hate to give up on those last few plants. Come on tomatoes, I rooting for you.
God, it’s hard to look at the things that need to change in my life, I seem to want to want to hang on, hope for, or struggle with things just a little longer. Clothes that no longer fit, but maybe someday will again,books I long ago read that maybe someday I will get to again, files, papers, projects I long ago forgot about. And then there are the things I should leave alone, my habits of over committing and pushing myself to exhaustion.
I do not like to give up. I don’t easily let go. Give me just a little more time with it – I can figure it out. I know God…this is a control issue, a trust issue. You know the saying, I memorized in my childhood – if it’s to be it’s up to me.
Our son started college this past month. I thought I was ready for years to have him out on his own. But when the day came it was tough to let go. I wanted to share a bit more advice. I wanted to hug him a little longer. I wanted to hold on. Somedays its a challenge not to call, to ask “how are you doing?, Everything ok?”
I don’t trust that You are up to something even greater in my life and that I need to let go. I need to make room for something new.
Jesus gave us these words in Matthew 6, 25-34.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34 NIV)
My life story has been one of change, living in 5 different states, many different jobs, different careers. I have been divorced and remarried. I have walked close with God and at other times wandered away. I have worried many times, felt lost, broken. Yet looking back, my life has been blessed. I adore my wife of 23 years and our two kids who are finding their way as young adults. I have a job I really enjoy. Though there have been trials, God is continually good. There have been rocks in my garden soil and days without rain, but those are expereinces that have taught me to be a better farmer.
You have blessed me Father. So why do I struggle with trust? I know who it is that whispers doubts in my ear. I am wise to this script. So why do I still struggle. I dont have all the answers, I am thankful for the feeling that reminds me to continually turn back to You. Maybe it’s the discomfort that reminds me I am not complete on my own. I cannot turn it off or wish it away, but I can surrender to You. I can continually turn to you, cry out to you, submit to you.
And when I do I hear the words “Do not worry…”