Psalm 65:12 NLT
'The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy.'
“Make yourself presentable” was how Mum often greeted me as I ran in from the garden or tumbled downstairs. I was a child and Mum was telling me I wasn’t dressed and groomed appropriately to meet an aunt or visit the dentist. It was water off a duck’s back to me, but a few adjustments and the awful wiping of the face with Mum’s hanky, and all was well. I looked fine on the outside, yet felt no different inside.
There are simple tricks we can make do to give the right appearance to people. The problem is, when these are only cosmetic they are of no lasting effect. I can also, chameleon-like, order my life and behaviour in a Christian manner. This does not, however, ensure God’s kingdom is gaining ground.
My life, I feel, is a blend of ordered agricultural land and wild uncultivated spaces. God, it seems, is interested in both. The land that is well-farmed is easier to yield to God’s care and cultivation. Its rich soil readily receives seed from God’s hand, and nurturing this new life is relatively easy. I must collaborate, but the level of work is minimal. Seed fruits in season and reveals the reality of who is God.
The wild areas, windswept, often difficult to reach and demanding both to tame and to cultivate, are less appealing. This demands learning new skills, studying the nature of the land, finding a suitable crop and making the effort to visit and cultivate effectively.
It takes a farmer to manage the agricultural land, but a pioneer to tame the wilds. When life takes us to the wilds, then there is the need to pioneer. For a while we make a good fist of proving ourselves presentable, but slowly this deceit is revealed for what it is. Will we dig deeper within ourselves to discover how to turn the uncompromising desert into a productive source of kingdom fruit? God possesses the cultivated and uncultivated lands. God expects both to become fruitful under his mentorship.
QUESTION: Are you putting on a good front, or are you, under God’s guidance, turning the desert into a fertile field?
PRAYER: Lord, may every area of my life yield fruit for you.