For many who observe their faith within the Christian tradition, many churches have entered into a time of fasting and prayer. These fasts usually serve the purpose of providing clarity of mind and heart for the individual’s faith for the coming year. Participants fast in so many different ways. Some fast from certain types of food (ex. sweets, meats, treats) while others limit food consumption to certain times of the day. Whatever the type of fast, most people are seeking the same thing: divine intervention.
We want to see God change the world around us, our communities, our families. We want God to affect change in us. We want to understand God better. We want divine insight.
One thing I’ve learned during this period of fasting is He is exactly what we need when we need it. I’m seeing Him do some awesome things in the lives of His people and we haven’t even hit the middle of the month!
The word that came forth in church on Sunday was that this is a year of fruitfulness.What we don’t often acknowledge in the process of “bearing fruit”, the Gardener may need to break up fallow ground, dig up rocks preventing our roots from gaining depth, pull up weeds, tear down thorns, re-pot or replant us under better conditions among other things.
How does that look to us? He may allow us a prolonged season of receiving through ministry of the word and worship, allowing what we are learning to till the ground of our hearts.
Through what we learn the Holy Spirit begins to show us the rocks – the small things in our lives preventing the word from taking hold.
Those weeds – ugh – nasty bad habits that pop up consistently or sporadically, preventing our fruit from maturing. Some of those jokers have to be delicately pulled up from the root because they have existed so long and grow along side of your fruit that their roots and vines are intertwined. Sometimes they have existed so long we think they are a part of us. But “The Lord is gracious and compassionate….slow to anger and rich in love”. He doesn’t rush this process. He works through it all so lovingly.
Let’s not forget those thorns! They can be the pain held onto from trials and tribulations when gone unchecked, can choke the very life from us.
Then there are times we are relocated to a place where God can attend to our growth with no external distractions. We may change actual physical locations or He can bring us to a place where we are spiritually above what is going on around us, totally focused on His voice, His leading, His healing.
Forever grateful that God is the ever observant Gardener, fully aware of the health of every seed He planted in the earth. He is ever watchful over you, delighting in who you are and pruning you into the beautiful fruit He’s destined you to produce.
Can you identify with any of the examples listed above? Ever have any weeds in your life that needed to be pulled up? Share in the comments below.