[CF Devotionals] 2019-06-06 - Sunshine and Rain

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When I planted the cherry and better boy tomatoes, sweet basil, eggplant, and strawberry plant in the garden, they looked so small. I also put a few marigolds in there, to try and ward off pesky bugs while they were growing, made sure they were watered when it did not rain, and added stakes around them as they grew, to keep the plants stabilized. With good soil, sunshine and rain, they have grown from a few inches to over a foot tall. The location of the garden box allows for morning and partial afternoon sun, followed by a cool veil of shade for the rest of each day. While going about the business of doing my part and letting nature take care of the rest, I now notice that the plants are beautiful, flowering and beginning to bear fruit. The only plant that has not begun to show fruit developing is the eggplant, and it is now displaying flowers and will soon join the rest of the group with impending yields.

While I was pondering the upcoming salads and sauces to make for meals from this harvest. A couple other things came to mind. One was how beauty came from plant life exposed to and flourishing through sun, wind and stormy rains over many days. The other thing is this same group of crops had no control over their outcome. They are completely dependent on those physical circumstances which could lead to a crop yield or their loss. (At time, I worried like a concerned parent, when once the garden box was holding too much water at one end - so I bailed some water to avoid drowning the basil and eggplant!)The plants, however, will process the elements presented as well as and all they are able, in the course of events- to survive and hopefully thrive. As my mother used to say, “you just do all you can do.” She taught us that if we did our best, it was enough, and she would ask nothing more. (“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as unto the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord a reward. It is the Lord Christ that you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)

We, too, as human beings must manage during days filled with sunshine and joy and those filled with storms and all types of challenges. There are choices we can make, things which we can and must do, yet very much of our lives leaves us dependent on something. We are dependent physically on basics like food, water, clothing and shelter as well as spiritual nourishment. Some think of the spiritual aspect as merely emotional or mental health. While I agree - I believe it is only part of it. If we have proper spiritual support, then we become less vulnerable to emotional fluctuations (provided we do not have a chemical imbalance that needs other medical attention). When I get inside my own head and think it is my job to control my destiny, it does not end well, and I am more inclined to get agitated by things that do not normally concern me as much, which get me off-track. I can do cardio exercise or yoga, meditate and get some relief, yet a strong center of spiritual balance is important for me. Sure, I can have some measure of success otherwise, yet it leaves me feeling rather empty and hollow, should I not choose to combine it with faith. When I consider how and why I was made by my Father in heaven, I tend to think less about what I want to do or what others think I should do, and focus more on the next right thing I should do in that specific moment. If I absorb what God wants for me, by asking Him asking to be make my mind fertile ground, letting him nourish me with his guidance of truth, which will give me all that I need to fulfill my every need - then I, too, can flourish. And what is even more amazing is that he chose each of his children for fulfilling each part of the puzzle that constitutes his perfect plan. But it often includes sunshine and rain, which is something we must accept while in these mortal bodies, adding challenge to the journey. But with God as the guide and source of strength,we can be part of the most beautiful harvest of all-everlasting life. I cannot imagine anything more worth weathering the storms and soaking up the next daybreak than that. And not every wind is a gale force one — some are just gentle breezes giving much needed relief. Are you flourishing and producing fruit?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. Against such thing there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:22-26 NIV)

“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe-as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers, you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:5-9 NIV)

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV)

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory; you swoop down to make me great.” (2 Samuel 22:33-36 NIV)

“Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40: 29, 30 NIV)

“But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever! Amen” (1John 3:18 NIV)

[email deborah]  cfpraydeb@gmail.com

All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted

CFD | June 2019 | Deborah's Devotions | Yesterday's Devotion | Devotional Topics