Unearthing a Dream

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold; when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.”  Charles Dickens

We are born into a world full of contradictions. The word paradox comes to mind. And all we need to do is look at ourselves to see the definition personified.

We crave joy but fill up on the crumbs of lesser things.

Our spirit yearns to fly but we weigh it down with worry.

Light is what we desire but we settle for shadows.

And when it comes to our God-sized dream, we want more than anything to be brave enough to believe it. But, more often, we just bury it because it’s easier than facing our fears. 

Maybe we’re afraid of losing joy once we’ve found it.

Afraid of what others will think and how painful the fall will be once we are in flight, in full pursuit of our dreams.

But can this last forever?

Us clinging to walls, dodging the spotlight, afraid of our own shadow?

I don’t know if I’m speaking to anyone but myself here but I think it’s time to bury fear and unearth the dream God has for us.

And I was reminded as my husband and I worked in our little garden this weekend – I have seen this same plot of ground hold both the dead and the living.

The Lord provides the seasons, the sun, the rain, the nutrient-rich soil. But I, too, have a part to play in how my garden grows. Whatever I neglect will die. Whatever I nurture will flourish.

I have taken this simple concept and really complicated it over the years. But God knows I want to be a nurturer of the gifts He has given me.  

And isn’t that what all His children want? Because our joy is in serving the One who has “made His light shine in our hearts.” (2 Cor. 4:6)
 
We live to glorify Him. 2 Corinthians 4:7 tells us that “we have this treasure (His light) in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 

And when you stop to think about that gift – the light inside of us – you start to realize it’s the reason for all the others we are given. 

We’re meant to shine. But the tricky part, at least for me, is getting past the fear that comes from focusing on this clay jar rather than the treasure within.

I’m covered with chips and cracks and sharp edges that need smoothing but that’s not the whole story. And I’m missing the point if I think I’ve got to be perfect before God can use me.

It’s not what I can do, but what He can do through me. Praise God! That’s the point. Good news… it’s not about you either. It’s about “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
 
And isn’t that the greatest paradox of all?

Finding Strength

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I have been praying that God will help me to be more fruitful in this new year. And it seems to me that overcoming fear is a step in the right direction.  

To me, being fruitful is about growing and gathering. Digging deeper. Allowing God to speak to me through his word and through others who are doing the same. All of us who are His, like interwoven vines, planting seeds. Listening. Learning.

Seeking and Finding.

This week, I invite you to follow me to the Moonboat Cafe where Cassandra talks about How She Found Strength for the New Year.

 

Fruit That Will Last

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

I always look forward to the appearance of the Honeycrisp Apple this time of year. For those who might not be familiar with this variety, it holds up to it’s name. It is crisp and juicy and sweet and, some say, it is the perfect apple. Honeycrisp.org describes the origin of this delectable hybrid:

“Honeycrisp was produced from a 1960 cross of Macoun and Honeygold, as part of the University of Minnesota apple breeding program to develop winter hardy cultivars with high fruit quality.”

As I savor each bite of the delicious honeycrisp, I think about the scripture where Jesus tells his disciples:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16)

I pray that the One who chose me will find my life bearing the high quality fruit he desires. The kind that multiplies and keeps growing strong. The kind that will last, being perfected even in imperfect conditions.

Dear Lord, I know I can do nothing apart from you. My life can only bear fruit as I stay connected to you, the Source of all Life. Please help me to draw close to you each and every day so that, as your disciple, I can obey your command to “go and bear fruit”.