Lent Week 2—Wednesday
Psalm 72 Genesis 42:18-28 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8 Mark 4:1-20
I love English roses. Their fluffy petals and sweet fragrance make my heart sing with joy. A few years ago I decided it would be very rewarding to grow my own English roses. So with joyous excitement, I located a nice sunny spot in my yard and quickly went online and ordered four David Austin pink rose bushes. It seemed like such a fun adventure until the box with four bare root bushes and planting instructions arrived at my door. I soon realized that this project was going to require more than digging four small holes. I was going to have to dig out all of the dirt from my flower bed and replace it with new topsoil, compost and manure to prepare the flower bed properly for the roses to grow. This project took me days of digging out hard clay dirt deep enough to plant the rose bushes. After all of the hard work of getting them planted, there was still not anything pretty to look at – only four tiny nubs sticking out of the ground with no sign of life. It was weeks before I saw anything green and months before my first flower appeared. I can still remember my first beautiful rose and the tiny needle-like thorns that poked my whole hand when I went to cut the bloom. These beauties would bring much joy and pain.
My rose gardening experience has helped me reflect a lot on the soil of my heart. Do I allow God to tend the soil of my heart? Do I trust God to be the gardener of my heart and soul? Do I allow him to dig out the hard dry dirt of bitterness and hurt that hardens my heart and allow him to replace it with the fresh soil of gentleness and grace? Do I have tiny thorns of impatience and unforgiveness that God handles with gloves of mercy and grace? Do I trust God when I have to wait for answers to my prayers and there is no growth to be seen? Do I allow God to pull out the weeds of earthly worries, distractions and idols from my life? Do I allow God to prune the stems of my heart that do not honor and serve Him? Do I read God’s words daily to nourish the soil of my heart? Do I truly submit my heart to the gardener of all creation?
Lord, I pray that during this Lenten season I will allow you to garden the soil of my heart. Dig out the hard soil from my heart and replace it with your soil of love. Pull out the weeds that strangle my heart so that your words can nourish my soul. Help me grow in faith and trust so that I may bloom with the sweet fragrance of your love. Amen