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Archive for February, 2013

Rejuvenation

This is the time of year that is always pivotal in my life as a gardener.  The short dark days of winter are lengthening dramatically and the sun feels ever closer, larger, warmer.  The grass is still brown, but life is showing in the gardens.  And there is hope.

Winter is usually a time of rest for a gardener; a time to restore, rebuild, refresh and dream—and to prepare for our next purpose in life.  Winter is also a time of rest for the plants; a time to sleep, to multiply, to rejuvenate, and to prepare themselves for another season of doing what God put them here to do.

Sometimes as humans we put forth so much effort that we become completely weary.  I often say that I’m weary to the bone—or to the very core.  I love to serve and believe with all my heart that God put me here to serve others.  It’s what gives me joy and purpose.  I don’t do it to be thanked; I do it because it’s why I’m here.  I’ll never be a leader—I have no desire to have others following me or my example.  I don’t even like to be watched—much less imitated.  But I love cleaning up after those that are doing something important.  I love assisting them and helping them be the best at what God put them here to do.

What I do may seem unimportant to the ‘earth-movers’.  They may think we servers make no difference at all.  They may even think our jobs are easy and that we don’t need rest and rejuvenation and that we have no responsibility at all.  But let me tell you that even the evergreens that seem to be fully alive all year round have rest in the winter.

I am joyfully reminded that Jesus understands the weary of heart and body.  When we feel as though our brains cannot take anything more and our bodies are drooping, Jesus says:  “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matt. 11:28-30)

God told us through His prophet Isaiah:  “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  (Isaiah 40:28-31)

I love His tenderness as He comforts us.  It makes me feel as though He takes me in His arms and lets me weep on His mighty shoulder while He pats my back and whispers encouragement to my very soul.  I can hear Him saying, “There, there, Judi.  Go ahead and weep a bit, but not for long.  Sigh a little from your weariness, but don’t be discouraged.  Draw from MY strength.  Dip into MY courage and take a generous helping with you.  Let me oil your back so that the criticism of others will slide off once again.  And always, always remember that I made you just like you are.  You are important to ME.  You are serving ME—not them!  And my reward is better than all the forgotten thank-yous in the world.”

And then, after a brief time of comforting me, He gently sets me back on my feet and whispers tenderly into my very soul:  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  (Gal. 6:9,10)

It’s ok to rest a bit here and there.  It’s ok to need comfort from time to time.  But the most important thing of all is to get back to the job at hand–to keep on keeping on; to not quit or desert our station.  Let’s not grow weary, but instead, refresh ourselves in the Lord and let Him strengthen us.  And then get back to work!

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