There are some weeks when your calendar is overflowing with things that must be done. You know, the normal stuff…work, meetings, Bible study, grocery shopping, banking, final preparations for a speaking event that weekend. In the middle of busy comes two text messages four minutes apart on a Tuesday. One from my husband who had just left to go out of town: my youngest daughter had been in an accident. She is fine but did require a quick (?) trip to the E.R. just to make sure. The other was from my sister: Mom was actively dying. This was expected…but is it really ever? She had hours to live and passed away peacefully the next morning. Her funeral would be that Saturday.
Life can be like that sometimes can’t it? You get hit from every angle. That was last week…accidents, deaths, retreats, funerals. I needed some soul stilling, heart mending, peace and quiet. Is there anything better than spending a couple (or five) days digging in the dirt? Pulling weeds, raking, mulching, and planting = lots of opportunity for heavenly conversations and lots of opportunity for the Creator to speak through his creation.
As I was rounding the corner to the back of the house a soon-to-be Momma Redbird caught me off guard and flew out from her nest tucked away in a trumpet vine. I peeked in to see several eggs.
Later on, as I was cleaning out a front flower bed, I spotted half a Robin’s egg lying on the ground, broken, busted wide open. But guess what? Out of that brokenness new life began. If those Redbird eggs stay whole there will be no baby birds.
As I really began to look around me and think about it, the ground must break in order for new plants to come up. A bud must break in order for a flower to bloom. Water must break for a child to be born. A heart must break for God to do a new thing in it.
Jesus gets broken. He broke the bread of a boy’s lunch and fed over 5000 people (Mark 14:13-21). I (you) have a choice. We can hold on to our brokenness and become bitter or we can put it in the hands of a master miracle maker and watch him work all things for the good (Romans 8:28). When we bring our brokenness to God, he can use it to nourish and help others.
Then there’s the night Jesus had with his disciples, the last supper, where he broke the bread saying, This is my body. He knew what was coming. He knew his death on a cross was necessary for us to have new life. His broken body was laid in a tomb and sealed with a stone. Three days later that stone was rolled away, the seal had been broken and new life began. Abundant life. Eternal life.
Brokenness must occur in order for new life to begin.
About the same time I was having this aha moment (again…does anybody else need to learn a lesson more than once??) I ran across this…
I know, I know, it’s just a snake skin but jeez Louise, it gets me every time. Somewhere in those weeds is the guy (or gal) all dolled up and looking fresh. But I will not be fooled. You shouldn’t either. No matter the new outfit, no matter how pretty this serpent dresses up the outside, he’s still a snake in the grass.
Scripture tells us that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2Corinthians 11:14) His tale’s as old as time. He tricked Eve in the garden by enticing her with something that was pleasing to the eye. (Genesis 3:6) Sometimes that happens, doesn’t it? We get duped by the outside beauty and charisma and forget to look at the heart. No more.
No matter how pretty you dress it up, a snake in the grass is still a snake in the grass.
As I was raking out some weeds I had previously sprayed, I noticed one that wasn’t affected by the weed killer, the wild onions. They weren’t wilted or yellowed. They remained firmly rooted and when I pulled them up their aroma was still strong.
I was already in a posture for prayer on my knees to pull weeds so I began to listen to what God was trying to tell me (and maybe you?)…
My love is like that wild onion. The world will spew all kinds of poison at it but it will not be killed. It won’t even wither or yellow or wilt. It will remain strong in its root and aroma.
In fact, my love is so strong that I sent my One and Only to earth so that you could see. The world spit venom on him, trying to poison him to death. He was broken just for you. That snake in the grass thought he had won. But My love is stronger than anything and my Son was raised to new life….just for you.
You too can be a wild onion, not wilting under the world’s poison. You too can keep loving those who try to break you, who spit meanness on you, who trick you. You too can grow strong, aromatic roots by remaining close to me.
Don’t be fooled by that snake in the grass. I can take your brokenness, hurt, and grief and create a new thing. Something that will allow you to nourish and feed others.
Will you trust this wild onion love?
And so I sat there, on my knees, with a pile of wild onions by my side, their aroma strong and lingering, knowing that no matter what the world throws at me, no matter what kind of week (weak?) I am having, he is there, loving me with a wild onion love.
Fiercely for YOU!