After over 40 years behind a desk (most of them spent in a cubicle or enclosed office), I am free to enjoy the beautiful out-of-doors… and the Tennessee summer sun is HOT! I have enjoyed digging flower beds from rocky, dry earth and planting flowers and vegetables in various places around the property. Did I say that it was hot?
As I was softening the earth and scraping up the grass to prepare the ground for another flower bed, the sweat was pouring in my eyes (now I know why the good Lord gave us eyebrows… and I long for the full and fearsome eyebrows of my youth!). The sun was brutal, but it was gorgeous. I stood straight to ease my back and a sudden breeze blew softly. The air was immediately cooler. “Thank you, Jesus!” I breathed. It truly was a beautiful day. I began to think of all the blessings that the Lord has poured out on my life. I started to thank Him for them. With each thrust of the shovel, I praised Him. “Thank you for the sun that shines down and warms us. Thank you for the water that we have so readily available. I can just turn the tap, and there it is – fresh and clean. Thank you for the way it perks up my flowers and plants, just like it refreshes me. Thank you for my husband working so diligently on the tasks that I cannot complete myself. Thank you for your patience with us both. Thank you for loving churches and a place to serve you. Thank you for blessing my children with health and gainful employment when so many struggle. Thank you for my wonderful father-in-law, and thank you for touching his body. Thank you for giving me daughters that I didn’t give birth to. Thank you that they love me and give me such joy. Thank you, Lord, for happy, loving grands who keep me on my toes. Thank you, Lord. THANK YOU, Lord!”
The breeze had continued blowing gently, but my eyes were still clouded. It wasn’t sweat anymore. It was tears of joy and thanksgiving. God has been so good to me. I could thank Him while digging up the entire neighborhood, shovelful by shovelful, and not even get started.
I have a new-found respect and admiration for those of you who farm the land, who bring life from the dirt. It is difficult and sometimes painful work. I pray that you all feel satisfaction in your labor – whether it be in the outdoors or in a building somewhere. I thank you for welcoming me into your church and into your lives. I pray God’s blessing pour out on you like our summer sunshine, and may the Holy Spirit breathe into your lives like a refreshing breeze. I pray that the church takes deep roots and grows like the gardens. I can’t wait to see the fruit that is sure to come!