Thursday, April 28, 2011

Outcomes

Our front lawn is in sorry shape, and it has been that way for some time.  More than one year of drought compounded by the heavy foot traffic and piles of excavated dirt from foundation repair killed most of the grass.

This is the year we try to get our lawn back.  Allen is the gardener of the family.  He researched what species would work best in the shade of the live oak with minimal watering, found sources for the seeds, placed his order, scheduled delivery of a truckload of mulch and compost/soil mixture from the city, and waited for a free weekend.

Last weekend was his moment.  He spent two days of a three-day break aerating the soil, amending it with the compost mixture, and sowing seed.  The mulch he wheelbarrowed into the flower beds, front and back.

It was long, hot, back-wearying work, requiring many refills of water and sports drinks and at least one dose of the asthma inhaler.

All that work, and it may or may not work.

He obeyed and did everything under his responsibility to restore the health of the lawn, and he continues to water it on the days we don't have rain, but the outcome is ultimately in God's hands, not ours.  We can only watch and water and pray and wait.

It's not so different from managing chronic illness or parenting or driving around town or the rest of our endeavors.  We have responsibilities to learn and honor the laws of God and man and to seek good medical care and follow the doctors' prescriptions.  We stumble and fail even on our best days.  In our faithfulness and failures, the outcome is in God's hands.

To tell the truth, this lack of control tempts me to fear.  I want to believe that following the rules guarantees positive results.  Then, however, there would be no need for trust, and the Lord values our trust more than our success.

For me the best support for trust is to remember the Object of my reliance.  Many of my Scripture memory verses are selected with this in mind.  As I learn or review God's own trustworthy revelation of His character, I can entrust outcomes to Him who is my "steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me" (Ps. 144:2).  I remember that the LORD is "a God merciful and gracious, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (Ex. 34:6-7).  His unceasing love and fresh-daily mercies help me relax my grip on the outcomes I desire and surrender them to Him.

His goodness and unfailing love anchor my trust that, whatever the outcome, it is in His hands and therefore will work for my good and the good of His people.

May the Lord strengthen us to obey in hope and trust His loving sovereignty for the outcomes of whatever duties He has assigned us today.

9 comments:

  1. "The Lord values our trust more than our success." Amen!

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  2. @AnneThank you for the amen, Anne! May the Lord grant you trust AND success where it's good for you today.

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  3. Let me tell you something about that Anne Conder. She was sowing seeds like a mad woman, today. And so were you, Christina.

    We all stumble forth, together.

    What a blessing to have Christian friends.

    God's got it all under control. Like you said: "We can only watch and water and pray and wait."

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  4. "In our faithfulness and failures, the outcome is in God's hands."

    So true and good and full of grace. Trusting God to bless the work of your husband's hands! Whatever it LOOKS like, I know He will be.

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  5. @Brandee Shafer I hope Anne subscribes to comments so she received your kind words!

    Christian friends are a blessing, and God does have it all under control.
    Hope you and yours have a wonderful weekend!

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  6. @Amy "Whatever it LOOKS like, I know He will be." Yes, thank you for that.

    He said a few seeds have germinated. We'll know in a few more days about the rest.

    I hope you and yours have a wonderful weekend together!

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  7. It’s funny how we- as Christians – have the same God thoughts – but we put them into different words – this lawn project has you thinking, “In our faithfulness and failures, the outcome is in God's hands.” I think the same and use the words, “Control what you can control and the God of the Universe controls the rest.” God Bless and keep you and all of yours. I really hearted this post. Thank you. ♥✞ღ

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  8. @Craig Yes, there are very many, possibly limitless ways to express the same thoughts, and different expressions connect with different people. I appreciate your sharing your approach to the concept.

    May God bless and keep you and yours also, Craig. Thank you for your thoughtful reading and response.

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