Made Things

Garden & Grace

Do you ever feel stingy?

I do. Well, I did.  Well, I actually noticed that I was feeling that way and thought it out loud.
I thought about it as I clomp, clomp, clomped across the newly-sprinklered grass in my rubber boots out to my garden the other morning.
I was inwardly exclaiming, amazed at the cucumbers that I swear grew over night, hanging from the prickly vines hidden among the trellises.
I noticed the green peas climbing up and over, their vines trailing the frames we built in the spring.  They appeared out of thin air, I’m sure…every 5 or 6 inches of growth holding a promising pod of green.
Winter squash vines trailing along, up and over the edges, expanding exponentially across the brown dirt…..

Look at this over abundant garden, I thought. 
God does nothing half-way. 
He is a more than enough God.

That’s when I started noticing how stingy I felt.

We’ve had company for going on two weeks (whom I enjoy immensely, but well, it’s just that they’re always here.  And they won’t be driving home any time soon; they live in New York).
Then there’s my newly-retired husband, whom I love dearly, but he’s worked all of our married life and now he’s home all the time.
·         He keeps interrupting me when I’m trying to work. (write)
·         He has questions in the middle of the day and wants to talk about things.
·         He pops up with ‘could you get this for me since you’re going out’ comments….
Added to this is my mother in law, who lives with us, and is recuperating from surgery and needs attention.
Everybody needs something from me—time, effort, care.
And I’ve been holding back.  As if my resources will be depleted.  As if…… if there isn’t enough of me to go around. 
Well, there isn’t without Jesus.
I realized this on my way to the cucumbers.  The word ‘lavish’ came to mind.

I’d heard it that morning while our Pastor was warming up his mike for the message during our worship practice. 

These are the words he was ‘practicing’ with:

“In him we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
that he lavished on us
with all wisdom and understanding.” 
Ephesians 1:7,8
“lavish—downpour, from ‘laver’ to wash, spending or giving with liberality, marked by or produced with extravagance and profusion.”
I have received an unending fountain of grace, enough for me to spill out, pour on others in an unending flow. A flow that never runs out.  It’s the upside-down of God’s economy–when I pour out love and care to others, when I give joyfully of my time, somehow there’s still enough for me.
I don’t need to hold back: Serving, stopping, listening, allowing myself to be interrupted.
God keeps on producing life in the hidden places, overnight where I cannot see, providing not only all I need, but enough to spill over the borders of my life.
Just like all those cucumbers.

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  • Tresta

    Yes! Why do live like we have to reserve something, save some for ourselves? Jesus is so much more and just enough and always on time, right? (If we were real neighbors, you could share the cucumbers with me.) : )

  • Jody Lee Collins

    Joanne, thanks for stopping by–it's just a season, I think….maybe? But school is starting soon and I'm back in the fray, so I'll have to ask the Lord to remind me what I said here.
    His Word is alive in me–I'm depending on that!
    So grateful for your friendship.

  • MrsP

    Ouch! We are in exactly the same place, and it looks to be getting more crowded rather than less. I forgot about the abundance, and didn't think about it in the way you articulated here. God wants to make His bounty mine, but if I keep my arms gripped tightly to my chest rather than thrusting them out in both giving and receiving, I will miss it all. Thanks for this.

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