Sarah Francis Martin is a wife, mother, friend, mentor, author and wanna be artist. Shehas a passion to encourage women to make Jesus famous in every part of life. She is the author of Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous (Thomas Nelson 2012). Sarah's relevant and conversational style will invigorate readers to live rise up off the couch of complacency live with faith-filled purpose for the renown of Jesus . When Sarah is not typing away at her laptop you can usually find her getting her hands messy with craft paint. Check out more at www.liveitoutblog.com.
With a bag full of wildflower seeds and pots filled with fresh soil I sprinkled and patted down the prickly seeds left over from my father-in-law's beautiful wildflower garden that captured my heart last fall. As I watered the pots for the first time I embraced the irony that I was in fact, planting wild flowers in pots. But I didn't care. Irony aside I looked forward to the buds and blooms and the symbolism of this little gardening project.
You see, these wildflowers were a gift from God who was and is tending to my soul. These wildflowers were meant to help me focus and keep my head down. For months before, Jesus told me to keep my head down and focus on Him alone. I was not to cook up new projects or pop my head around Facebook to see what everyone else was up to. Keeping my head down and smelling the wildflowers was just what my soul desired, craved, to deter me from wanting what others had. The proverbial "grass" would be just green enough on my side of the fence...with in these pots of wildflowers.
The stubborn sprouts took longer to grow and bud and bloom than I expected. You KNOW I celbrated the first bloom with exuberance...I even had to Instagram about it!
Not much longer I had pots full of colorful little blooms of pink and purple and orange. Celebration! You should see the care I give these wildflowers. But, I began to notice irregularities. Were these weeds among my precious blooms? How could I tell? I'm not an expert! Honestly, I don't even know the names of these flowers as I just picked seeds that looked pretty. Were these new green stems part of my wildflower collect? Who knows?
Do I pick them? Would it disrupt things? So many questions!
Because I know this gardening project sent straight from heaven was meant to teach me something, I contemplated these weeds beyond the picking and pruning.
What are the weeds in my soul?
Do I even know what they look like?
Can I distinguish what is thriving in the depths of my being and what needs to be picked and pruned?
What is thriving is my desire to seek out Jesus alone. To abide in Him and to focus on His glory and not my own agenda. These pots of gorgeous pink and purple and orange represent how far God and I have come as I have diligently kept my head down and allowed His hand to move me forward. But, was I missing out on going deeper with Jesus because of my weeds...my sin...my ugly?
I think of the woman at the well in John 4. After a conversation with Jesus in the heat of the day at the well where she came often shamed by her towns people, the woman left her jar of water to tell everyone...
"Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" John 4:29
Jesus knew her weeds. He called her out in her sin. For a woman with many men but no "husband" she was accustomed to judgement and condemnation. But this man was different. He knew her weeds but there was love in His knowledge. That sting of judgement was no where to be found this day at the well. She came for water. He offered her more than that which would satisfy her dry mouth. This man...this Jesus (The Christ!) offered water to nourish her soul...
"Drink this water, and your thirst is quenched only for a moment. You must return to this well again and again. I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again." John 4:13-14
This declaration, this offer straight from The Bread of Life, The Word, promises much. Our souls, the part of us that craves something...is thirsty. Jesus claims He is the one who will quench our thirst for eternity. I love the woman's response. She doesn't quite understand what The Lord means here. Or does she? In desperation she begs Him to give her this water so she might not have to make this shame filled trek to the well where everyone knows her and her "weeds."
Do I quite understand the implications of this water of life for my soul? Am I willing to expose my weeds so as not to let them over run what is good and thriving with in me? Am I willing to examine and take a hard look?
So many questions to ask here. Trusting the process I move forward to pick and prune. I move forward to make the hard choices to change my behavior, to say "sorry", to do things differently to rid my wildflowers of the weeds. My soul will benefit. He receives the glory! These wildflowers in my heart are just for You Jesus!
Read more of the Soul Care series HERE.