Thursday, April 28, 2011
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.