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Posts Tagged ‘Gardens’

This is a picture of a very large ‘Port Jackson Fig’ that sits in my local park. It is one of the few remaining trees that were part of a garden belonging to a family that settled here and had a home on the site. Unseen in this picture, around the other side of the trunk is a metal post, which has long-lost its purpose for being there, yet still remains. Solid, upright and buried in a bed of concrete.

The tree has had to adapt to it and the result is, that the base of the tree and its roots are moulding their way around this un-wanted, intrusion. Eventually the post may rust away,  break off, or a keen-eyed gardener may thoughtfully cut it away. If it is ignored though, there is a possibility that the tree may end up encasing all visual trace of it, the un-natural, un-welcome flaw remaining deep inside the trees system.

Our lives can sometimes be like that too. People around us may not necessarily see what is going on, but deep inside we may well be aware that there are parts of our lives, which we are growing around. Some of these situations, could become completely covered up, as we strive to work through them and accommodate their hold.

We all go through troubled times, where we can carry and bare the wounds of our past, but they do not have to define who we are today, or hinder our futures. Acceptance and forgiveness allows us to find an inner peace, where we can adapt to changing circumstances with wisdom and grace.

My desire is to grow older and wiser like this tree, by giving myself permission to be flexible and open to change.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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Jeremiah 29:11, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper  you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ (NIV)

This verse in Jeremiah is often quoted and used when people are going through troubled times. It came to mind this week as I pottered in my garden.

I love to experience the different seasons, autumn and spring being my favorite. Spring officially starts in little over a week, but our seasons seem to be going through a challenging time, where trees are only just beginning to shed their leaves and bulbs are starting to flower.

Spring bulbs bring me a great deal of joy as they sway with the breeze, basking in intermittent blue skies and the warming sun.  But preparation for this delight started in the autumn, when they were purchased and chilled in the fridge to create the illusion of a colder climate. Once planted, they shot up and developed into their very pleasing of blooms.

At times, we may also get put into what seems like un-natural situations, challenged to change our mindsets. While we may not appreciate or understand the benefits of those circumstances, we could just awaken something new. Then, if planted and allowed to take root, we too could become a beautiful flower in God’s Garden.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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Reading from Eph 3:17 (Living Bible).When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Reading this verse I was reminded of a devotional message I wrote and gave many years ago. I was a fairly new Christian back then, but the relevance of the word for that season in my life, holds the same value for today. At the time, I lived on a property that had a small winter creek flowing through the bottom of the garden. The banks were planted with various shade loving plants, all sitting under the bows of majestic gums, towering pines and European Willows.

When a friend visited for coffee one day, we sat on the back veranda enjoying our time together when she suddenly said, ‘Just look at that row of tree, they are all so different but create a beautiful picture. A bit like all of us at Church’. I had to agree. Some were tall and straight, some were ugly and gnarled, some had leaves and some didn’t, yet they did indeed form a striking sight. Her insight was a true reflection of what it is to be in community, with a large body of believers.

However I went one step further as I explained that the trees were growing along a creek bed, where they could all draw on a fresh supply of water. Most did and thrived, but the Willows were shallow rooted and during the summer months, when the creek dried up, so did they, dropping all of their leaves. Not established deep enough into the ground, I started to hand water my beloved trees. Slowly though, I began to realize they were turning their roots upwards for the tap water, becoming more and more reliant on me to supply their needs.

It grieved me for the next two summers as I continued to watch them struggle, their green canopy shrivelling before its time, dying for lack. The third year the leaves yellowed and held on, then in the fourth year we relished the green shelter, protecting smaller plants from the harsh Australian sun.

Like those trees, we also need to put down deep roots into Gods word, so that when those dry times come we won’t faint or become weary. We are at our most productive when we are established firmly in all that God has provided for us.

A person rooted in God can stand tall through many storms.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

 

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