“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
There is a meadow of beautiful wild flowers that lies just beyond the back fence of the garden of my heart. I love that meadow. On a day like today the colors are happy and bright as the sun casts a glistening ray that sparkles in the early morning dew. It takes me a little longer to walk the distance to the back of the garden, but I have felt the tug of the Holy Spirit calling me to the meadow all morning. Spending time in the garden is delightful but often God has a lesson for me outside the garden. So it’s to the meadow I must go. Anticipation of this outing and the lesson to be learned excites me as I quicken my steps.
As I approach the back gate of the garden I notice a beautiful hand carved chest next to the gate. Before exiting the garden I feel compelled to open the chest and look through its contents. As I rummage though the box I find many items that raise my curiosity as I assess their value. I’m not sure how this box got into the garden or who placed the items inside, but it is clear to me that they are for my personal use. It seems to be a survival kit of sorts.
The first item to catch my attention is a pair of funny over sized “Son”glasses. I am guessing that these might come in handy when I look up into the heavens in search of Jesus. Seeking the Savior every day is critical. Wonderful relationships are never one sided. I must always do my part in pursuing my Lord. Yes, these glasses could most certainly come in handy.
The next item to be examined is a pair of bright green rubber boots with silly frog faces painted on the toes. These rainy day shoes will not be needed today but might be useful at a time when I need to laugh. Perhaps I will use them on a day when I find myself walking in blind faith through a foggy day in fear or on a day when I find that I am being pounded with the unwanted rain that leads me splashing through the mud puddles of adversity. No doubt, these silly frog boots might be just what I need to redirect my focus.
A rainbow colored golf umbrella now catches my attention. Wow! What a beautiful reminder of God’s beautiful promises. Who has supplied me with this delightful umbrella to cover me and protect me during the dreary rainy days of my life? It makes me smile when I realize that God often uses cheerful people to encourage me during times when my spirit is downcast.
What’s this, a shovel? This will without a doubt come in handy when I am digging deeper into the scriptures. Life is busy but this shovel is a very visual reminder that if I am to live as a victorious Christian I must make time to dig deep into God’s precious Word. I know that God’s Word is a lamp to my feet and a light along life’s pathway.
I’m sure it is no accident that a Bible is tucked into this chest as well. The truth is I shouldn’t go outside of the garden without the Word of God. Reading the Bible is essential. I must memorize what it says and hide those words in my heart. The Bible has been given to me for instruction and reproof, and as I read God’s Word I will also discover his precious promises. These promises are designed to give me and you a hope and a future.
Packed way down on the bottom of the chest is an old handmade quilt. It appears to have been made by the loving hands of individuals who lived long ago. Each piece of this colorful calico quilt has a character all its own. Every piece has been carefully stitched into place. This beautiful quilt reminds me of my Christian heritage. My parent’s faith is precious to me because they allowed God to stitch every situation in their lives together with his thread of goodness. The end result was a beautiful quilt representing God’s faithfulness. Someday soon I am going to pack my lunch and fetch this quilt and head for a beautiful spot among the wildflowers that dance in my meadow. A quiet picnic will provide me with an opportunity to contemplate the legacy of faithfulness that I am endeavoring to pass on to my children and grandchildren. It is the desire of my heart to leave my loved ones with a quilt of beauty that will be a precious heirloom for their enjoyment. This quilt will not represent what I have accomplished but serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to me. My desire is to stitch the squares of my life’s quilt together with the threads of gratitude, love and obedience to my Lord.
Digging under the quilt, I discover some bottled water. I twist off the cap and drink the water that is amazingly cool and refreshing. This is so symbolic of the living water that is found only in Jesus Christ. Jesus has promised us that all those who choose to drink of Him, the living water of life, will never thirst again.
Last but not least, I spot a kite! I hop up on the fence and lick my finger and thrust it high into the air. I am using this “old world” method to test the direction of the wind. The conclusion of this test is that it is a perfect day for flying this kite! I smile at the thought that this one last item has been placed in the chest for my pleasure and enjoyment. A kite for fun! The sole purpose of this kite is to lift my spirits high into the heavens as it soars above the cares of life. Quickly, I grab the kite and run out of the garden gate eager to fly this amazing bird made of simple wood and paper. The gentle wind on my face is a kiss from my Savior. Not only is he above and beyond the clouds, he is here in the meadow. Just to go one step further, he is also deep within my heart! There is no other God like my God. All powerful, all knowing, and always present.
This is a gorgeous day in the meadow. The sun is warm against my face. I am so happy that this morning I heeded and obeyed the prompting of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I remember it was just an undemanding nudge that suggested that I head for the back of the garden. My obedience proved to reveal a fantastic surprise. What a joy to dig through the survival chest. The discovery of the kite was a perfect delight. I know it is just a kite but for some reason I feel like today this kite is allowing me to run with Jesus. My spirit is lifted, I feel free, I feel joy, and I am at peace. As my kite rises higher the cares of life begin to fall off just like the cocoon of a butterfly as it flies to freedom. My concerns are one by one flying up to Jesus. As every inch of string unwinds it carries my kite a little higher and my heart soars even higher. I am overcome by a sense of trust in my Savior. I remember that his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts. How could I do less than trust him with all that concerns me.
The time has been short, but responsibility calls. I carefully wind up the string as I bring my precious kite back to the meadow. Before heading back into the garden I take one last look around me and drink in this glorious meadow. Back inside the garden I place my precious kite back in the chest for safe keeping. Walking home I smile with pleasure as I enjoy every blooming flower along the way. Each bloom shouts God is good! The walk back is long but it gives me a chance to ponder obedience. What would I have missed this day if I had not obeyed the prompting of the Holy Spirit? It is so true; those who wait upon the Lord will have their strength renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles and they shall run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. God has so much for me but I must always take the first step in obedience if I am to reap his rewards. God speaks volumes in the garden but sometimes he has amazing lessons to learn outside the garden gate. I must learn to pay better attention. I don’t want to miss a single blessing that stems from simple obedience.
- What was the last amazing lesson that God taught you?
- Have you experienced that sometimes God has an answer to a prayer or an experience of delightful joy at the end of your obedience?
- Which item in the survival chest would best suit you today as you leave the garden of your heart?
- Will the emotions you are feeling today affect your choice?
- Will you choose to fly your kite of obedience high on this perfect day?
I’m not sure but I suspect that the chest at the garden gate was placed there by you. I am so grateful that you go before me and prepare the way for me. You know the way I should go and the tools that I will need when I get there. Lord, I pray that I would begin to be especially mindful of the nudging of your Holy Spirit as he suggests the path that I should take each day. Help me to look at all I have planned for the day and then be intentional about considering the possibility that you may have another plan for me this day. Lord, I want to learn to view your changes in my plans as acts of love leading me toward delight. I also know it is entirely possible that an answer to prayer may be at the end of my obedience. Perhaps you are getting ready to use me in the life of another person who needs to know of your love. Maybe one of your children needs help or encouragement. I am aware that a change in my plans may be for my own protection. Jesus, I thank you for these nudges. Help me to pay better attention. It is true your ways are higher than my ways and your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. My trust is in you as I choose to obey your voice.
Jesus, it is in your name I pray. Amen