I recently was discussing with a dear friend a common experience from our pasts. We both were struggling with stopping conversations in our minds and reviewing actual occurrences that had been quite painful and brought us feelings of sorrow and being disrespected. We both thought of Lot’s wife from the Bible who was turned into a pillar of salt when she turned back to look at her home city which was destroyed by fire falling from heaven due to the immorality of the inhabitants.
I would imagine that both Sodom and Gomorrah didn’t start out so immoral and that Lot’s family and other families had some very fond memories of the towns that had been home to their children, their traditions and many of the friends that were left behind to face destruction, so also for my friend and I. We shared some very fond memories of some people still in the common place and some who have moved on. We shared the pain of judgment, neglect and abuse by fellow human beings.
However, my friend and I both have a shared perspective of the sowing of seeds and the reaping of a harvest. Some seeds that were sown were very good and some very poor quality. Understanding that you are only responsible for both the good and bad which you can choose to plant and not looking back on those left behind, the good harvest or the bad, can be a challenge. One is inclined to want to return to happy times and may feel compelled, much like a firefighter to rush into the figurative burning building to save the innocent. Yet wisdom and the Word of God teach us in Ecclesiastes and many other passages that there truly is a season for each row in the garden of life. We spent a season crusading for others as we were led to do.
As we sow and reap in each row, we have the opportunity to harvest seed in the form of friendships that bond us together and make us a stronger unit for the force of good in the world. We also have the responsibility to not spread seed that yields a subpar, sickly or even poisonous harvest. Choice is a constant companion, also a weighty blessing. As Jesus said, ” I set before you life and death; choose life.”
While my friend bears the mark of the past, an extension of purpose in ministry has been found for God’s glory. To be bitter, would be to let the enemy find a door in and allow him victory. My friend and I are blessed with a laser focus and a tenacity that can only come from the Holy Spirit.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another as the Word also says. I am so blessed by those that sharpen me and also by those who have proved a growing compound in the garden of my life that has at times seemed like it was poured out by the wheelbarrow full and was extremely heavy and at the time painful but enriched the soil of my soul.
Who are the planters in your garden? Who or what has been in the wheelbarrow that was dumped on the ground of your soul? Who loves you enough to sharpen you with the truth and comfort you with the same? Do you recognize when one season has passed and you are being birthed into the next?