While this heat wave has driven most of us indoors for the better part of the day, the plants in my garden are loving it. A few tomato plants are already beginning to bear fruit here and there, and each morning, it seems all of the plants are a little taller, greener, and have a few more blossoms on them than they did just the day before.
Experience over the last two years has taught me that planting a garden is a textbook example of faith in action. It’s a covenant with the LORD that you can see, feel, touch, and taste.
The plants are in the ground, but He didn’t actually shovel the dirt and put them in the ground for me. The tomatoes are growing higher, but He didn’t go out and stake or tie them. The weeds are pretty-well held at bay, but He didn’t go out and mulch the ground.
The church is called to be a lighthouse of faith. In Hebrews 11:1, the writer tells us “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” He goes on to describe how many from the Old Testament’s lineage of faith giants carried out their calling from God until the day they died, yet never saw the fruits of their labors this side of heaven. Now, we’re not building temples in Jerusalem or leading God’s people to the promised land, but we are called to living out the same type of faith.
And sometimes, He DOES allow us to see the fruits of our labors.
(That’s part of why I enjoy gardening as much as I do!)
My friend Bob, who has been a great mentor to me the past several years, often reminds me that when it comes to faith:
- our job is to take action and get the work done,
- God’s job is to handle the outcome, and
- it’s much better for us when we don’t get those two mixed up.
What action(s) is God calling us to take as a congregation? What outcomes ought we be leaving in His hands?
In my experience, when I’ve followed ‘Bob’s Hypothesis’, the rewards have been great. God was simply waiting on me to let go and trust Him fully.
God’s blessings upon your week! I’ll see you Sunday.
In His grip,