My father is a gardener. His summer gardens filled with veggies are magnificent. When I lived in the same town as my folks, most of my grocery shopping was at their house, enjoying fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, corn and more. It was all so much better than a grocery store.
But that garden didn’t happen all on its own. Dad didn’t plant seeds and only hoped that nature would provide. He worked at that garden. He was out there every day watering and weeding, and coaxing his plants along so they would grow well. It took time and effort. But, man oh man, was that effort worth it. And Dad’s greatest delight was sharing the fruits (or vegetables) of his labor with friends and neighbors. His garden grew abundantly and he was able to share.
Recently, I was reading in the book of Psalms, and Psalm 34:14 jumped out at me, “Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” (NLT)
We all know we’re to pray and pray for peace. Not just world peace, but more inner peace. The peace that comes from God. Sometimes you feel that peace, and other times, you don’t. I’ve come to realize that it’s not just a one-shot prayer. I guess I never thought about working to maintain peace.
It’s like exercise (I bet you can tell where I’m going with this). I’ll have a great workout one day, and I want that to be enough to last at least for a week or longer. But no, the reality is I have to get up and work out again the next day to maintain good health. One and done doesn’t work.
You can’t maintain a home by only vacuuming once (I wish!), or maintaining your car without an oil change. You have to be consistent.
You have to be a master gardener with your prayer life.
We should strive for more than once a week at church talking with God. We need to seek Him daily, and to seek peace daily. Maintaining peace requires coming to God every day, arms open, palms up, asking what does God want from you today. We have to seek his peace every day. We have to water our faith so it will grow.
When things go off the rails, we have to believe that God is still with us, even if we don’t “feel” him. We maintain that peace with the knowledge that He’s always here.
I’m not telling you anything new. However, there are times when a verse from Scripture just jumps out at you. Maybe it’s a reminder from God, or it speaks to you because of whatever circumstance you’re going through at the moment. Regardless, “Search for peace, and work to maintain it” spoke to me today. Especially the “work to maintain it” part. It’s the reminder that we have to take things day-by-day and just do the next thing that’s in front of us. Maintenance isn’t necessarily easy. But like my Dad’s garden, isn’t it always worth it?
What do you think?