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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Here Comes the Sun

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7

My mother has a gift. Her garden stretches the length of our family farm. Pink roses peek from vintage fence posts. Irises bloom down by the cow pasture where we used to hop over for daffodils in springtime. Lilies overtake the nearby pond. Crawling ivy and morning glories abound by a tree that lies dying.

My gift — You can’t see. It lives in my head.

My mother’s gift is evident. It lives in the dirt.

I have never told her, but I love to sit on the back porch and watch her in her Steel Magnolias floppy hat, digging up the ugly ground below. When I’m close by her side, I can see the worms overturn, broken roots being rummaged, and unidentifiable bugs passing by. But this part lasts just a minute. Just long enough to toss in the seed.

Then, the ugliness that has been brought to the surface is turned back over, now covering a seed that wasn’t there before.

It makes me proud to think that God created the process of gardening this way. It’s a perfect metaphor for what happens when the ugly turns up in a season of your life. Dirt isn’t pretty. The deeper you dig, the more of it you turn up and the uglier it gets. And sometimes we wonder why God plops us in this dirty, barren place.

Days pass by. The roots of the past surround us. We can’t push the weight of the “ugly” from us. The sun is blocked out. We feel totally and completely alone.

But in God’s time, the seed that can only see darkness and feel the uncomfortable enclosing on all sides surrounding it pops up from the top of things.

It is surrounded by flowers and it suddenly has hope.

Maybe it will be one of these flowers as it continues to grow. As the weeks go on, the blooms do come in. The beauty, oh the beauty, is evident. The flower stands up prouder as the bumblebee sits to rest upon its petals. It feels purpose as the butterfly drinks its nectar and a child leans down to smell its fragrant center, a petal going clean up her little nose. The morning dew glistens in the sun on its many green leaves, revealing a vibrant ladybug. This tickles a little and the flower smiles.

You know what?

God smiles too. The plan is completed.

When life feels ugly and nothing makes sense. When you feel alone and abandoned. When the dirt hugs you tight and you can barely breathe under the weight of it — don’t change your mind on believing in the One who promised good things to you.

Instead, change your perspective.

Maybe this “dirt” is GOD’s embrace, all-encompassing you to grow, to change, to reveal your purpose so great that you can’t even imagine it or fathom it.

Somewhere as you read this, there is a woman down south in a floppy hat. She scoops the dirt up and tosses in a seed.

And as I watch her I wonder ... does God have a floppy hat too?

I hope so.

I think God would look cute in a floppy hat and I’m sure that all of heaven stops to marvel as He does His own “gardening” in our lives. So perfect. So beautiful as only He can do.

When you are surrounded by the ugly, whatever that is for you — don’t give up. The sun is promised. The dirt view can’t last forever. That’s a fact.

It’s just how God designed it.

Don’t believe me? Ask a flower.

Copyright © 2018 Brooke Keith, used with permission.

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