Saturday, November 26, 2011

An Intimate Connection With God by Jaye Lewis

Hello friends,

Yesterday I was able to go outside and garden.  That is one of my passions.  When we moved into our house, fourteen years ago, we inherited a yard of desolation, nothing but  boulders, clay, and weeds.  Rescuing the yard has been a slow, tortoise-like experience.  If you hurry, or try to garden during drought, you merely break the handles on your tools.  It’s been discouraging, to say the least, but thankfully we’ve learned.

At 65, and in poor health, every plant that takes root and flourishes, fills me with the most glorious gratitude that I have a God who cares so much for me.  Jesus said, “See the lilies of the field; they neither sow nor reap; yet not even Solomon, in all his glory was arrayed as one of these.”  So, to me it is obvious that gardening is, after prayer, the most intimate connection I have with God.

I think of Jesus words, when I see a seedling, that I have planted, take root, grow, and bloom.  I know that I only did the easy part.  I place the seed into the ground, water it and God does the rest.  It is difficult to choose my favorite plants, since I love them all, but if I must choose, then I choose my seedling trees.  Eleven years ago, we had two beautiful birch trees, near the house.  They were breathtaking, until they died from the bronze birch borer.  Then, the dogwood, by the road, gave up the ghost.  The only thing left was an overstressed red maple, that we hope to save even this summer.

I began my garden’s rebirth by planting seedling trees from the National Arbor Day Foundation.  Quite miraculously they grew and flourished.  I was stunned.  I felt as though those little trees were shouting “Jaye!  I love you!!”  Silly, huh?  Yet, that experience helped me to see what God wants of all of us.  Perhaps with each plant, with each tree, with each bloom (oh, yes, I must have lots of blooms) God is throwing His arms around me, and He is saying, “Jaye, I love you.”

Gardening in my yard has taught me much.  I’ve learned that there are things I can plant that will live, and there are things that will die.  Tea roses, for instance, will be consumed overnight by silent bugs.  Our roses are Knockout roses. Our trees are disease resistant, just in case I’m not the great gardener that I would like to be.  In our front yard we have two Prairie Fire Crabapples (very disease resistant and a blood red).  Our three Bradford Pears have healthy leathery leaves that turn a deep burgundy in fall.  We also have a host of lilies, junipers, and other tough plants that just take my breath away.  In our back yard it is much the same.  We’re working on water features, and we don’t expect to ever be finished, as long as we live.

Gardening is hard for me.  I have balance issues, and it is always painful, but I do joyfully drag myself around.  My husband and children are such a blessing, planting trees and shrubs and giving me all the credit.  Everything they do is so obviously for my pleasure, whether it is planting seeds or trees or rose bushes.  It warms my heart, and when I think about it, tears spring to my eyes.

There is much to learn in a garden.  Miracles happen.  A lowly seed bursts forth, from the earth.  Gentle rain, or sometimes hauling hoses, gives them life, bringing blossoms of every shade and hue.  So, why did God bless me?  Really, I don’t know.  He will bless   whom He wishes.  In the Bible, God gives us clues.  He wants us to seek Him with all our hearts.  He wants a relationship, where our first thought is of Him. And He wants to bless us.  Now, my own personal clue.  God listens with all His heart, to all the longings of our hearts.

My house, for instance, is a mirror image of a house that I longed for, when I was fifteen years old.  My family is another miracle for me.  Love.  Hope.  Forgiveness.  Happiness.  How loving is the God we serve.  We have had tough times, especially when we were in the Navy.  Poverty was always knocking at our door, but in tough times or abundance, God is still with us, whether we acknowledge Him or not.  He is worth the sacrifice, and He does care about our needs.  I must say, that without God, we would not have survived the lean times.  I do love Him.  God is my constant companion; my hero; my sweet provider, and He listens and answers my prayers.

Daily Prayer  by Jaye Lewis

I love to watch the drifting clouds,
In the glorious sky, above me.
I love to hold You, in my heart,
And feel how much You love me.

I love to see the breaking day,
With colors rich and true.
I love to hold You in my heart,
And spend the day with You.

I love to see the little birds
That gobble all the seed.
I love to hold You in my heart,
As You see to every need.

I love to, breathlessly, await,
Your answer to my prayer.
I love to hold you in my heart,
And know that You are 'there.'

I love to feel Your sweet caress,
Upon my aching heart.
I love to hold You in my life,
And know we'll never part.

I love to share, with You, my thoughts,
On every, blessed day.
I love to hold You, in my heart,
As You brush my tears away.

And, last of all, I love to share
The way we laugh, together,
Knowing that the day will dawn,
When we will share forever!

© Jaye Lewis, January 29, 2001

With Love,
Jaye Lewis

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