∼The Middle of the Garden∼

My experiences from walking and talking with Jesus in the middle of life's garden…a blog by Janet Williams

If you’ve watched enough Wheel of Fortune then you have tried to figure out the puzzles along with the contestants. I sure have. I’ve begged and conjoled the contestants (from my living room) to pick a certain letter or vowel. Usually, it’s to no avail. And a lot of the time the letter or vowel that I wanted them to pick isn’t even in the puzzle.

Out of all the things I’ve seen happen that have amazed me on Wheel there is one that I’ve never seen yet.

The one thing I’ve never seen yet is for a contestant to pick all the letters in their exact order and solve the puzzle. From the first letter of the first word to the last. That’s because the first few letters are anyone’s guess. The first few letters are a complete gamble. So, that’s why the contestants usually stick with the most used letters such as N, R, S, T to begin with. It’s almost like chiseling away at a rock to uncover the statue hidden within. That is what Michelagelo said it was like for him. When he saw a piece of unchiseled marble he was able to visualize the shape that it needed to be carved into. Carving it was just a matter of releasing the statue buried underneath.

The same is true of our lives. Our lives start out as a series of blanks on a huge board called life. At first, we must guess at the letters of the alphabet by stepping out in faith and trying new things. Childhood is a (seemingly) never ending series of new things. But, we begin to pull up a random letter here or there without being able to solve the puzzle. What am I here for? Why did God create me? Is there a bigger picture to my life?

This process begins all over again when we accept Jesus. We are newbies in the spiritual world and we stumble around and grasp at whatever we can to hold onto spiritual concepts that are strange and new to us. We begin the process all over again of calling out letter after letter as we did as children. But, this time it doesn’t work the same way. The letters we relied upon in our earthly life don’t work in our spiritual one. That’s because we are not building up ourselves, we are removing self so that Jesus can fill us with His Spirit to live in us. The solution to the puzzle isn’t about us but about Jesus.

When I was a teenager and I went to the teen group at church there was a lot of talk about finding our ministry. I remember that being a burning desire on a lot of hearts in the teen group. But, the reality was that no one really got any sense of their ministry. Life would have to unfold for us at the same pace as with everyone else. We were so excited to be and do for Jesus but we were not excited about waiting at Jesus’ feet and learning of Him before we set out on this new adventure called Ministry.

For me, ministry was what I did while waiting for my grand destiny in ministry to unfold. It was helping another woman get to church who couldn’t drive. It was visiting a sick person in a nursing home. It was being a listening ear to a friend who just needed to vent. Ministry was all around.

Just like Wheel of Fortune though, my life in Christ never did unfold with the first letter of the first word being revealed until all the letters were picked in their exact order. My life in Christ has been more like in the book of Exodus watching the Hebrew children wandering in circles in the desert. And that is God’s divine plan.

They say that grocery stores place their items in such a way that you have to wander through the store, up and down the isles, to find what you want. They want you to wander. The more you wander the more items you see. That’s why I usually come home with some item that I didn’t plan on buying. I saw a new thing and thought it looked good.

So too, is the desert wandering. I wander through the land of faith when there is no water. I stroll through the land of prayer and then march on into the land of giants. If I had gone in a straight path I would have missed all of these lessons.

I have to trust that the letters that are popping up on the screen of my life are going to fit into a grander picture than I could have ever imagined because I have commited my life to Jesus. It is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20) The life I now live I live in faith in the Son of God Who loves me and gave Himself up for me. It’s now His bigger picture that must live through me.

Job 13:15 (KJ21) Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him; but I will argue mine own ways before Him.

Job said that about God. Though God slays me yet will I still trust Him. That’s pretty powerful. I’ve actually prayed that to God in regards to Donald Trump as our President. Even though I feel God may be slaying us through Donald Trump, I will still trust in God. God placed Donald Trump in power and gave him the office of President. It wasn’t happenchance. And just like the letters popping up in random spots on the big Wheel of Fortune board of the fate of America, I have to acknowledge to God that I am the servant and He is the Master. I follow where He leads and He doesn’t ever have to show me the answer, if He chooses not to.

There is a certain amount of trust that each of the contestants have in the producers of the puzzles that are displayed. This trust is in that they will find a solveable puzzle at the end of all this random guessing. Not only that it will be solveable but that it will be a familiar set of words.

So too with God. We have to trust that all will be revealed at some point and that what seems random right now will be revealed as to how it fits into His bigger picture and worked for His purposes.

Take heart. Your life in Christ was never meant to be layed out before you in order. It keeps the devil guessing as to what God will do next. It keeps you from getting ahead of God. It keeps you humble and submitted to Jesus.

That’s what blinking in sunlight is all about. Being delighted and amazed as God reveals His plans, ministry and purposes for your life.





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