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Posts Tagged ‘grevillea’

Sometimes it seems to me God uses the most mundane experiences of life and the things right in front of our nose to speak to us. Our part is to have eyes to see and ears to hear—and a heart to follow and live in the light of what God shows us.

I noticed this on two recent occasions that seemed quite disconnected at first. One day while dusting our house, I noticed some large, plastic folders on a bookshelf and looked more closely to see what they were. I discovered some were training manuals from courses I had attended in the past, while others contained leadership material for courses I myself had helped run. They would all be outdated now for sure. Out they went—but not without some pangs of regret. It had all been so valuable at the time. And I know such input impacted people’s lives, including mine.

Then I moved on to examine some thicker plastic folders. Inside them, I found neatly packaged cassette tapes from various conferences I had attended in the early nineties. What wonderful conferences they were, where the Holy Spirit moved amongst us in an amazing way and where we learnt so much more about how to pray and listen to God’s voice! I found smaller packs of cassettes too from prayer courses I had attended and other recordings of well-known Christian leaders at the time. This material had been transformational for me and many others. Yet who would listen to cassettes now? I could have them made into a more modern format—but would it be worth it? I decided in the end it would not be. Apart from just a few I did not have the heart to throw out, into the bin they went.

At that point, I decided there was no point in sitting around thinking melancholy thoughts. There were more jobs to be done, including hanging out that washing! As I did, I noticed our old iris plants were in bloom, their white floppy heads bobbing in the breeze, and there were new white blossoms on the azaleas and may bush. A few jonquils and baby daffodils had appeared, while various ground cover plants were also flourishing. In the midst of it all, the grevillea stood proud, with its lovely apricot and orange blooms, while my Christmas bush seemed to have shot up a P1040104few more centimetres overnight. Spring had certainly arrived. A new season was upon us. I went on to the front garden—and there before me was a small shrub I was sure had died over winter, now covered in pretty pink, daisy-like flowers.

Then God seemed to say to me, ‘You know those dusty, old cassettes, Jo? Yes, they were wonderful in their time and rich in my truths. But this is a new season for you when I have equally rich things to show you and to do through you. Keep moving on with me. Keep growing. Keep giving out.’

May you too listen and hear and perceive the things God has for you in this season of your life.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:18-19

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P1000421A few years ago, while travelling with a friend in Central Turkey, I saw something that caused me to stop in my tracks. We had just left the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa, an amazing UNESCO World Heritage listed site covered in ruins from around 2000 to 1000 years BC—possibly from before the time of Moses. As we walked back to the village where we were staying, we noticed a farmer in a nearby field doing something that seemed to come straight from the pages of the Bible. He was walking slowly across his ploughed ground, scattering seeds by hand from a large bag he wore across his body, just as his ancestors had no doubt done for centuries.

I thought of that Turkish man as I planted some seeds of my own a few days ago. My seeds came from a friend’s pretty, flowering plants called ‘four o’clocks’ which I was assured will grow anywhere. This sounded good to me. After all, anything would be better than the weeds currently thriving in my garden! So with great hope and optimism, I took my bag of seeds, cleared out those weeds and poked in one seed after another wherever there was a spare spot. I had no idea how deep I should plant them—but in they went anyway. Surely with so many, at least a few will make it?

Alas, I suspect some of my seeds at least will meet a similar fate to the ones Jesus talks about in Luke 8. I suspect in my awkward scrambles around our garden, a few were dropped and trodden on—maybe even to be eaten by the birds that feast on the grevilleas nearby. I also suspect some were planted too near or even on top of the rocks that line the terraces in our backyard, so will never germinate. As for some falling among thorns and weeds that will choke the life out of them—well, that’s the most likely fate of all in my garden. But … but just maybe some will land on good soil and produce a myriad of pretty bright red and yellow flowers in the cooler, late afternoon air around four o’clock each day. Then as their seed forms and drops, even more flowers will spring up and fill my garden. And I will be so delighted!

I wonder how God feels as he watches how the precious seeds of his very own words fare in our lives (Lk 8:11)? I wonder if God grieves when so many fall by the wayside and disappear or bounce off our hard hearts like some of my round seeds did off those rocks in my garden? I wonder if God longs for the weeds and mess in our lives to be cleared out so his words can take root and flourish? And I wonder if God claps his hands in delight when he sees those first small green shoots appear and flourish in our lives, to be followed by beautiful blossoms or sweet fruits that give joy to others and sustain them along the way?

How patient our God the perfect gardener is, always planting those precious seeds in our hearts, faithfully speaking to us, never giving up on us, loving us to the end!

[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Cor 13:7-8

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