Monday, May 9, 2016
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If I ever want to know anything about gardening, I ask the man in my world who is the master gardener-my friend, Mark. He doesn't ever need to shop in the produce department. No, he's got his own produce department in his backyard in this fabulous garden of his. He once told me about these incredible raspberries he saw growing in the woods near his home. But why have to go hunting for them in the woods, right? You could just transplant those raspberries and grow them in your garden, right?
Well, Mark was sorry he did that. In the woods, where God planted them, the berries had been big and many. But in Mark's garden, where he planted them, those same bushes produced berries that were small and few.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why You're Not Getting the Harvest You Hoped For."
My gardener friend was thinking about his puny raspberries when he said to me, "Things just do a lot better when they're grown God's way." That applies to a lot more than berries. In fact, it may explain why the outcome you've been getting isn't the outcome you've been hoping for.
God addresses the difference between His way and my way in our word for today from the Word of God in Isaiah 50:10-11. "Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of His servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide themselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires, and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from My hand: You will lie down in torment."
The picture here isn't about how to grow a great harvest, but how to handle the dark times, the confusing times, the tough times, but the principle is the same. One way is to relax and rely on God to make things happen. Remember, my friend said, "Things just do a lot better when they're grown God's way." The other choice is to start making your own sources of light-to try to make it happen yourself.
Now for us control freaks, that's one of the greatest dangers in our life, one of the greatest sources of pain and frustration and failure. We can't wait for God's timing. We can't trust God to get it done. He might need a little help from us. We have to fall back on our own intelligence and our persuasion and our planning, our schemes, our skill, our effort. God sternly reminds us of where trying to force it will leave us. "You will lie down in torment." He says you're going to pay a painful price for you trying to make it happen, force it to happen, doing it your way instead of His way; blowing right past what He wants because you're impatient and can't wait for Him.
The poet Whittier said, "Of all sad words of tongue or pen, 'tis the saddest of these, it might have been." I wonder if that's going to be the epitaph over your life as you review it with Jesus in heaven. "What might have been" - if only you had let go of the wheel, if only you had relinquished control, if only you had waited for God to do it His way. But all you got instead was what you could do instead of the much bigger, better thing that God could have done.
Remember those raspberries. When you try to make things grow your way in your place, the harvest is small. But when you let God grow it His way in His place in His time, you're going to be amazed with the size of the harvest!