Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Romans 4:20-21
I stared at the picture of Robin’s garden projected on the wall as she spoke words of truth to all who gathered around. It was a visual of the garden of her heart. The boxed beds were full of life and the plants stood tall and green. It was evident there would be a great harvest coming soon. I had seen it in person and it was breathtakingly beautiful. I stared and enjoyed the beauty, but it was obvious this little garden had not just appeared over night but had come through much hard work and watchful care.
She brought our attention to the most glaring thing about the picture; the one barren bed that had no growth. The turnip greens had been removed and it waited for it’s next planting. It was as if it were shouting of the non-existence of life there. To be honest, it looked like a grave. And for Robin, it was a grave.
It was a picture of the death of her husband. It is an undeniable truth that there is a barren place in her heart that once held beautiful love and life produced by God.
Boldly she declared that there would be no weeds, no lies to take up residence in this spot. It would be sown heavy with God’s word and watered with a huge measure of worship. “Resurrection life will come forth in this garden spot, because I am planting new seeds of truth in this deep, dark soil. And God’s word always produces life.”
Her words were somewhat shocking! How could she speak so confidently and certain of this? Because she had proven it to be true. For years Robin had sown seeds of God’s word in her heart and she had found Him to always be faithful to His promise.
This great loss and tragedy did not come into her garden and strip the vines bare because her garden had sprouted from seeds of truth, not seeds of lies and destruction.
The empty bed is not one of devastation, but great hope.
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:114
The room was still and quiet, except for scattered sniffles. From her bucket of great loss and brokenness, she poured out His great love and hope. Her suffering was producing a harvest for the glory of God. None could deny the work of the Lord in this story. We were the benefactors of her crushing. Many will be blessed by this story, but for this one day we were the blessed who sat on the front line hearing the rawness of an amazing story of faith.
I became distracted from her words, because beyond her voice, I could hear a great lie roaming around the room. The enemy did not want the truth to be heard, but his lies to be believed.
What was the lie?
“It’s too late!”
“It’s too late. You don’t have a garden lush and green and full of promise. You haven’t sown seeds of righteousness and now you have nothing.
Empty. Barren. Nothing. It’s too late for you.”
It is a lie! I’m exposing it now. We can reject it and fully embrace the truth. It’s true that we can’t recover or recreate the past, but it is never, never too late to plant the garden of your heart. If we will plant God’s Word in our hearts, then allow the seed to germinate and the plant to grow to maturity, we will reap the fruit of a harvest.
It is so easy to focus on what is not instead of what is. We can stare at the loss, the death, the emptiness, the mistakes, and the disappointments, but that focus will keep us from seeing the goodness of the Lord. When we fix our eyes on Him, our hearts are full of gratitude of what is.
This is not the same as ignoring the facts of your life, but it is choosing to stare at God.
He is a God who calls things that are not as though they were.
“God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.” Romans 4:17
It is standing over that empty, barren, broken, disappointing garden spot in your heart and speaking truth. Speak life into your garden. Don’t wait any longer. Sow seeds of truth. Wait expectantly that God will do for you what He says He will do.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes…Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23, 24
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18