Strength For Today

Decisions, decisions. There are so many life-altering decisions to be made…right now.

It’s in days like these that I find myself wishing someone else was hearing from God with me. Wishing that I didn’t have to interpret every nudge, test every open door, or make every single decision alone. Why do I have to talk to him on my own?  A couple days ago, that last question actually came out of my mouth, and with it came a gasp, a chuckle, and a perspective change.

“HAVE TO?” Like it is such a horrible thing I’ve been forced to do. Like this relationship is a burden to me.

“Have to TALK TO HIM?” It is the greatest honor of my life to hear directly from the Father. It is a privilege to approach him for guidance and strength. It is a joy-filled adventure to see where he is taking me!

“Have to talk to him ON MY OWN?”  As if having a partner who hears God is going to bring instant peace and answers to every decision waiting to be made. It was this thought that made me chuckle.

I certainly have my moments of searching out green grass and ignoring the garden in my own backyard. That grass might be nice, but it’s not mine right now. And right now, I have all I need to make these decisions.

Praise the Lord!
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

The Lord gives his people strength,
And He is a saving defense to His annointed.
Save Your people and bless Your inheritance.
Lead them like a shepherd,
and carry them in your arms forever.
Psalm 28:6-9

Keeping the Garden

I have been hearing a lot about Adam and Eve this month. The first couple.

I have heard sermons about them, read blogs about them, gone back and re-read Genesis 1 and 2 several times. And somewhere, somehow, some things have started coming to the surface for me. The things I needed to hear this month, and maybe I’m not the only one.

I know the story of Adam and Eve triggers different reactions in each of us, but there is a lot of wisdom in its timing. There was a lot of work to be done before there was an Adam and Eve. Before there was a couple, Adam was given some chores! His first assignment was to tend and guard the garden he’d been placed in.

Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
Genesis 2:15

On top of that, he was asked to study and name every living creature.

He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.
Genesis 2:20

Do you know how long that would take?? I used to think this story showed a mean streak in God – to march all the animals before Adam, taunting him that there was noone on earth compatible with him. Now…I see it in a whole new light. I see it as a season for Adam to get grounded in who he was, to really understand his identity and purpose on this earth. A time to walk alone with the Lord – how sweet that is!

After Eve was brought to him, his first assignment and priority had not changed – it was STILL to tend, guard, and protect the garden. Have you ever thought about your heart, home, workplace, or neighborhood this way? It’s so easy for us to take our eyes off of that purpose and place it on our partners (or the idea of a partner!), just like Adam did (Genesis 3:6).

We’ve been given a promise of a garden filled with beautiful trees bearing delicious fruit (Genesis 2:8-9), if we will cultivate and protect what we’ve been given. That is some sweet motivation in this season of taking back lost ground and learning to keep the garden!