∼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

Revelation 14:6 “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, with an eternal Gospel (good news) to tell to the inhabitants of the earth, to every race and tribe and language and people.” AMP

There is a scripture in the bible that I have been reading over and over again the past couple of days. It is Psalm 119:25-32. I’ve been reading it in the Living Bible. It says,

25 I lie in the dust;
    revive me by your word.
26 I told you my plans, and you answered.
    Now teach me your decrees.
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
    and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 I weep with sorrow;
    encourage me by your word.
29 Keep me from lying to myself;
    give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
30 I have chosen to be faithful;
    I have determined to live by your regulations.
31 I cling to your laws.
    Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!
32 I will pursue your commands,
    for you expand my understanding.

I think there are several reasons why this scripture has caught my attention. First of all the writer begins with the words “I lie in the dust”, so he is clearly stating that he is despondent or downtrodden. He is at a place in his life where things are not going well at all. So, he asks God to revive him. He wants God to refresh him but not just by lifting his spirits or changing his circumstances but he specifically wants God to revive him by His word. He wants God to speak to him. Why? Because the writer knows that the kind of reviving he needs isn’t in a good meal, a lot of rest, a few drinks, a week in the tropics or a change of careers. He knows that what he needs is a word from his Creator. He needs a word that carries life within it. He needs his souls to have a kind of spiritual CPR. He’s probably had this happen and had turned to God before. He knows that it is through his connection with the Living God that his life is refreshed and sustained. Usually, when a person has reached this place they have exhausted all their options. They’ve tried everything that they can think of and they’ve tried everything that anyone else has thought of doing to solve their dilemma.

But then he goes on to write, “ I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees.” This is interesting because it comes right after he’s described how he is lying in the dust. So, I am gathering that he’s lying in the dust because he told God his plans and God answered in a way that wasn’t favorable to him. In other words, God said a kind of, “no” to his plans. It didn’t work out even though he had committed his plans to God. What does he do? Does he get angry with God and storm off? No. Does he try to fight with God and manipulate God to get what he wants? No. He stops what he’s trying for and he responds to God’s, “no” with the words, “Now teach me Your decrees”. He’s saying something like, “OK, God, You’re not going to bless my plans so now I need to know what You have decreed will be in this situation. What are Your stated plans that You are enacting here?

From here he goes on further to ask God to, “Help me understand the meaning of Your commandments, and I will meditate on Your wonderful deeds.” He’s telling God that he is willing to do it God’s way and he needs understanding as to how to do it God’s way. He’s telling God that the way God is leading him seems unnatural or counterintuitive to his rational mind but he’s willing to go God’s way. Then, he decides that he’ll begin to encourage the thoughts in his mind of God to settle his mind and change his thinking into God’s thinking by meditating on God’s wonderful deeds. He is tilling the soil of his own infertile mind and getting it ready for God to plant new thoughts, new ways and higher ways that will produce the results in his life that he needs to move forward and get up out of the dust. Whenever I have had to redirect my thinking for it to come into alignment with what is written in the bible I find it is like tilling soil. It is hard work and it feels as if I am making myself vulnerable. I am churning up the dirt in my life and sometimes I encounter a kind of rock that is a sadness that I’ve forgotten. But, it churns up more too. It churns up old wounds that I forgot I had. I am forced to deal with asking forgiveness or in forgiving another. Sometimes, I’ve already done that once and now I need to do that all over again. Anything that gets in the way of God’s planting good seed within me and giving it room to grow has to go.

The next thing I noticed about this scripture has to do with the writer’s deliberate actions that he took. He had to force himself to do these actions. They were chosen actions and thoughts. He says, “I have chosen to be faithful”; “I have determined to live by Your regulations”; “I cling to Your laws”; and “I will pursue Your commands”.  Each of these actions are chosen, determined and deliberate. He chooses to cling and pursue. Just like tilling the soil is hard work so are each of these. They take thought, planning and effort. They take a consistent effort that is single focused. They are forming and reforming this writer’s world view.

In my previous days blog posts I have mentioned how we each have a world view. This is this man’s world view. This is how he sees the world. He sees it in relation to his relationship with God. Otherwise, nothing else would make sense. Nothing else would fit. Nothing else would cure whatever is ailing him. He recognizes that apart from God he can do nothing. Apart from God he can achieve nothing. Apart from God all he is doing is blowing smoke. His world view is tied to God.

Currently, our society is tilling the ground too. We are beginning to see the need for change in the way black people are treated. We have not lived as equals. We are not valued equally because our skins is a different color or we come from the wrong country or we have an accent. But, it’s more than that. We turn on each other because we don’t like another person’s world view. So, we try to change others into ourselves. We try to change their world view. But, having differing world views means we each have a different solution to the problem of racial inequality. This is why to become a world of all colors being treated equally we must first turn to God. He created all colors of skin. When He inhabits us and dwells in us by His indwelling Spirit, He is in all colors of skin. He is the only One Who can unite us into one world view that has staying power. John 3:16 says that for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. God gave Jesus equally for everyone. No one is favored or preferred. But, our response to what is happening in the world should not change. We should, as this writer of Psalm 119 stated, turn to God for wisdom and answers. We should continue with God even when God’s answer is “no”. We should see God as the solution to our “lying in the dust” and trust that He has good reasons to back up His decisions.

That’s why these posts have been named, “All Colors, One World”. All colors can live in one world if they are under One God who directs, corrects and lives in each of us. A world like this WILL be at peace.

COMING TO YOU FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE GARDEN,

Janet Williams

A BLOG TO SEE!

7-7-20

 

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