I have been taken captive by dirt devils. Recently I found myself sitting at my desk on the edge of my seat waiting for an elusive phone call from the dirt man. Last year we built and planted a garden for our own health and to help struggling friends and family. It took John, myself and our helper Tomas six months to build it. We put a fence around it to keep out unrelenting critters and filled the beds with (what we thought was) dirt purchased from a local landscape company. We hired help to get the dirt from our driveway half way down our acre of property where the garden was situated. Afterwards, we hooked up the drip system and I planted over 100 plants. Then, we went on a trip – an amazing conference at Mount Hermon where God spoke mightily to both John and me. But we were both on the edge of losing all that we gained…waiting for the dirt man to call.
When we returned, it was to find our new garden yellow, failing and rotting out. Horrified, I called the dirt company whose staff gave me mixed information. One told me that they delivered “sod mix”; another said we ordered “a compost mix”; we wrote down that we ordered “planter mix”. An expert we spoke with said, “Sounds like they gave you all compost – no dirt. Nothing will grow in that.” Ouch! So where was the miracle, the hope, the extraordinary in this disaster?
The miracle in many ways, was my response to the situation. With every day that passed and he didn’t call, the inner lawyer in me was gearing up – ready to buy back the garden with man’s weapons of war. I was ready to persuade, bully, get soils tests, hire experts and any number of stress-laden ideas to get things done right. Instead, one morning I went out to the dying wasteland of a garden and poured out my heart to God. Life began in a garden and I figured this one was His too. I offered up praise and thanksgiving that we even had a garden; I prayed for the dirt man and his company to thrive; I asked God to give him mercy and favor over us and what we were trying to do; I gave God back the garden and promised to share whatever bounty came from it. I left the garden with a bit more peace than I had when I began, but still no plan.
A few days later the man called and offered to come out and take a look! When he arrived, he looked over the situation and said, “It’s compost.” Then I heard the most grace-filled words I never expected to hear: “We made a mistake. We’ll fix it. I’ll have new dirt delivered and have couple of my guys come out and replace it. Will that do it for you?”
By sharing this story, I’m not saying things are always so easy to fix. It could have turned out very differently and I would have had to make some difficult decisions. But in this instance, I saw God’s Hand over our lives in ways my faith wasn’t strong enough to believe for. It wasn’t all up to me and my plan. And I learned that by using God’s weapons of war (praise, the Word, thanksgiving, blessing, surrender), He is glorified and my faith is increased.
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