My wife Laura and I lived in Aberdeen, Scotland when I was researching emotions. We loved the fields of daffodils in the spring. In Aberdeen, with its temperate and rainy climate, these flowers multiplied endlessly. Whole parks or expressway exit ramps would turn daffodil-yellow through a grass carpet.
Building on the community’s enthusiasm for the flower, we planted spring bulbs in our tiny garden at the back of our flat (apartment). The second spring, as the hills and parks exploded in yellow, our garden was a brown dirt mess. Our small flat came with a gardener, an elderly Scotsman with an accent so thick we had trouble understanding him. He should have fertilized and taken care of the garden, right? Sharing our distress, our neighbor confided in us, “Your gardener dug up your bulbs and took them to plant somewhere else.” Our gardener turned out to be a bulb thief!
In a hard times, I am often tempted to think of providence like it is my Scottish gardener. I think about things gone that I thought I deserved, things broken that I thought needed fixing, or health damaged that I thought was healed. What is my master-gardener doing?
Jesus’s words in Matthew show us the true character of our gardener. Unlike our Scottish friend, we can understand his words clearly. Our gardener is not a thief. He can be trusted. God cares to clothe even the lilies and feed even the birds. Surely, he cares more about us! God will faithfully cultivate, prune, and fertilize to get the best and boldest show of daffodil-yellow.
To live fearless in a fearful world, we return to where we started. Even when it is winter, before the bulbs come up through the snow, we can trust God is planting good things beneath the surface. Even when we feel like Jesus facing the cross in the garden, we don’t need to worry. We can trust the love and provision of our master gardener, our loving Father.
Instead of worrying about our needs, Jesus tells us to focus on God’s kingdom. Ask God what his priorities are for you today, and focus on those.
Popular posts from this blog
Victory Over Sin When Adam and Eve first disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden, sin became a part of the nature of mankind. Ever since, humans have been born naturally separated from God because of that sin. Because He is perfect, God simply cannot be in close proximity to sin. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were required to frequently sacrifice an unblemished lamb to atone for sin. The offering had to be perfect to cover the debt of sin - it was the only way a person could stay in right standing with God. Jesus is often referred to as the “Lamb of God”, because His sacrifice on the cross covered the sin of humanity. One of the many miracles of the cross is that it reversed the curse of Adam and Eve’s sin: Just as one act of sin separated all of humanity from God, the sacrifice made by one perfect person covered the sin of all people and made a way for reconciliation. Because Jesus offered Himself for us, we hav
“So Far So God” After the Israelites pulled off an upset victory over the Philistines, the prophet Samuel built an altar and named it Ebenezer, signifying that the Lord had helped them up to that point. The altar was a way of saying to the people, “The God who did it before can do it again.” We all need Ebenezers. Reminders that the God who got us here will get us there . That the God who did this will do that . An Ebenezer is a way of recognizing and celebrating the success God has given us along the way in pursuing our dream. After our church built our coffeehouse on Capitol Hill, we decided to name it Ebenezers. We were afraid that some people would associate it with Ebenezer Scrooge, but it was a risk worth taking. There were so many miracles in the process of purchasing, rezoning, and building our coffeehouse that we wanted to name it what it was. On our coffee sleeves at Ebenezers, there is a Scripture reference that looks like a SKU code—ISAM712. There are also ini