(June 13, 2018) Maureen McQuillan brings an encouraging word…
What a wonderful day last Saturday was!
It was the wedding of our precious granddaughter Bonnie-Jane Phillips to Matthew Hoseini in The Farm Yarra Valley boutique venue in Victoria’s beautiful Warrandyte area and Robert had the privilege of marrying the couple.
Matthew is a handsome young man, very special indeed – and Bonnie looked the perfect happy, beautiful bride!
‘Romantic dinner with my husband!’ (Bonnie’s posting later on Facebook)
Some days before I was joyfully recalling many delightful happy memories we have of Bonnie – we’ve always had an incredibly close relationship with her; throughout her childhood she would often spend a lot of time with us and even this year – her 29th – she confessed that she still loves to come visiting us.
I reflected on how even when very young she would always be quietly observing things. Even while enjoying a Maccas she wouldn’t rush eating the food like so many other kids but would sit with us slowly and properly digesting her chosen burger and quietly observe people both adults and children around her.
As I travelled down memory lane I recalled with laughter the night we were having our evening meal at home when Bonnie, then only five years old, and staring out the window while eating, suddenly exclaimed, ‘Grandma, God must be pooped!’
I was thrown for a moment, then forcing myself not to smile, asked: ‘Why is that, Bonnie?’
‘God must have had to work so hard!’
Ever so seriously the bright little girl answered, ‘Well, your garden looks so pretty, Grandma. Everything has grown so much. God must have had to work so hard!’
Now I couldn’t help but laugh.
Bonnie, I realised, must have been remembering what our garden looked like some months back and how I’d worked so hard to tidy it up. And how we used to close the curtains so as not to see the mess outside.
What once had been a mountain of mud and weeds was now a beautiful garden that, to her thinking, had suddenly happen out of the blue.
Obviously the change had made a big impact on her – and she had forgotten the tons of top soil brought in and the hard word of never-ending digging and the planting of trees and shrubs. It hadn’t happened overnight, it took time and patience!
I had taught Bonnie that God is in charge of everything and is always willing to help us in all of life, including working some miracles for us when needed. She had obviously remembered how I’d often told her about my being tired – pooped – after working hard, and the cute little girl had somehow linked that expression with our mighty God having helped me in the garden.
Don’t kids so often amaze us with delightful out-of-the-blue comments they come out with!
A tireless God
Yes, I’d been tired, very tired – pooped – after all my hard work over several weeks working in my garden…
But on a serious spiritual note, it’s good to know that God doesn’t get pooped when he has to work on us!
We’re the garden of his heart and he sees messy areas in the garden of our lives that need cleaning up in order that he might produce the beauty of Jesus in us.
He knows the work involved in order that his plans and purposes might be outworked in our lives. And all of that can take time and patience… but God doesn’t tire of working on us to bring about changes.
God doesn’t have ‘a too hard work basket’ – nothing is too difficult for him, he is all powerful. Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, ‘…with God all things are possible.’
Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:20, ‘Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.’
Can we grasp that? Our caring, loving God knows our weaknesses, understands our shortcomings and yet is still willing to do so much for us. He just doesn’t get tired of working on us! Changing ugliness into beauty is his business – his love and compassion reach far beyond our comprehension.
- The effects and blessings of his grace are sufficient to change us – 2 Corinthians 5:17, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.’
- His power is made perfect in our weaknesses ‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9Mge).
- And he remains the miracle-working God worthy of our praise (Psalm 77:4, ’You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples’)!
We may want to close the curtains when we look at our faults and failings – but scripture reminds us that there is no condemnation to those who have accepted God’s son as Saviour… and are now safe in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1).
Philippians 1:6 promises this, ‘Being confident of this, that he who has began a good work in you will carry it on to completion… .’ Message Bible reads Paul’s declaration this way: ‘There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.’
Let’s allow the master gardener to have his way
Change and growth in our life may take time but we need to take Paul’s admonition to heart, believing it will happen!
As we hand ourselves over to the master gardener, may we discover more of the Holy Spirit working in us and expect to be so changed that, because of the beauty and power of Jesus in us, we will not only delight our God but make an impact on others.
No, Bonnie… we may get tired – pooped – working at all the various matters we get involved in, but God doesn’t. Isaiah 40:28 declares, ‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary….’
Jesus said in John 15:1-2, ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.’
May we allow the master gardener to be about his craft and may we work hard cultivating a great relationship with the one who so loves us.
To quote Joel Osteen… ‘God is the master gardener. He will prune you so you can bloom, so you can see new growth.’
To quote James… ‘In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the word, making a salvation-garden of your life’ (James 1:21Mge).
Maureen McQuillan is a gifted communicator ministering practically and prophetically into where they’re at. Links: firstname.lastname@example.org / Int + 61 411 615 855