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Choosing to See the Blessing

When the coronavirus hit, our family re-evaluated a lot. I held my loved ones a little closer. I sunk deeper into Gods word as the only way to strengthen my faith, when all security seemed to be ripped away. Then we took a hard look at our resources and finances. Seeing where we had been foolish. Checking down the boxes of where we could become more self-sufficient.

One of the ways we began working towards a better tomorrow, is by planting a big garden. This definitely intimidated me. I am not one who has often tried something new. I don't like failure and often my attempts at the unknown have ended in embarrassing defeat. But yet another good that has come from this mess, is that I have been forced out of my comfort zone and have dipped my toes into the waters of trying new things.

Despite my best efforts to keep a low expectation on this new endeavor, we did have big hopes and dreams for our garden. We planned big so we would have plenty to can and share with others in need.

We measured. We tilled the ground. We mixed in the right soil. We waited to plant at just the right time. We faithfully watered. And we waited. And waited. The few plants we had put in seemed to die out in the frost and the seeds we planted, nothing. Nothing came up and we were sure we had failed yet again.

And then a few sprouts started to show, in all the wrong places! We have no clue why the broccoli grew in the weeds. Or how the cucumbers got two rows over from where we planted. We don’t understand how only one corn stock came up and most of what we planted didn't sprout at all. And then despite all odds, the tomato plants that we were sure had died, started to turn around and gain new strength.

Every day since, I look out of the kitchen window and see our huge garden with only a few plants. Anyone driving by might scoff at how ridiculous our attempts and expectations had been in comparison to the results we got.

And in this seeming defeat I can choose to look at our meager garden and feel defeated and hopeless, just like I can choose to view my life through scarcity and fear. Always clinging to what I see as assurance for the inevitable crisis' that life will bring. Determined failure and loss will always meet me, I can throw in the towel and never grow my faith muscles.

Or I can choose to see something else. Could I look at the lack and see instead, blessing? Could I choose to see what God has provided and be thankful? Yes, I can look at what is here as assurance of defeat in my life or I can continue to see God fulfill his promise to me from earlier this year, that he would indeed provide just what we need for this season.

No, I likely won't be able to feed the neighborhood like I dreamed. But that doesn't mean God won't equip me with other resources to "feed" the people around me. If I always keep myself trapped in the tunnel vision of my plans and expectations, I'll likely continue to live disappointed. I will miss out on all the good a gracious God gives. And on the opportunities he may lead me to that don't look like what I would have arranged.

Maybe, like the corn, he will ask me to stand tall and alone. Striking a pose of determination despite what everyone is screaming around me. Or maybe he will plant me among the weeds like the broccoli. Making sure I rely solely on him so that I don't get choked out by the voices and influences around me, but instead grow my roots down deep into him. Maybe the places in my life that seem, (like the tomatoes) dried up, dead and hopeless, are not dead at all. But waiting on a fresh anointing and purpose in the season God has planned for them to revive and come to new life.

Life rarely looks like what we plan for. But if we dare to change our perspective, we will begin to see a new narrative. A narrative with a great big God. Big enough for our needs today and already providing what we need for tomorrow. A God with a purpose for our life. A purpose that sometimes seems painful and confusing. And yet, he always promises he is up to something good.

I am choosing to hold on to that promise. So, when I look at our little garden, I shed tears of joy at God's blessing, instead of tears of defeat. I choose to see his promises. I choose to live out of his love in what he has provided for me in this moment. I choose to live where he has planted me and allow my faith roots to grow even deeper into the truths, he gives me. Trusting in the knowledge that he has not made a mistake in where he has planted me. And believing he will equip me with what I need. Even in all my lack, he will be my guide, provision and friend. If we choose to, we can see how good and faithful our God is, even in the most impossible places.

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