I woke up today with a song in my head. Not an unusual thing. I'm sure most people have songs in their head from time to time. Sometimes it's a song you hate and you don't know why its there and why you can't get rid of it. Sometimes its a great song, but you can only remember the one line. Sometimes its a song so inappropriate for the day, and other times it fits like a glove.
Today's song was one of my childhood songs. "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." Seriously? I love that song, but it didn't fit today. Why would I sing a song who's lyrics I didn't agree with for today. What if this is a day I wish the Lord had NOT made? How do I rejoice in a day like today? I pondered it for awhile and decided that I was probably supposed to write about this one. Needing to get a grip on my wandering thoughts, or maybe just an attempt to let them wander a little farther, I decided to "Go to my garden alone....while the dew or rain drops are still on my tomato plants / weeds or Roses as the song says. I would talk with God about this in my wanderings, arguing that I don't like this day. This is a day I wish He didn't make. This is a day I hold my breath through.
As I sifted through my tomato plants, I came to other side of my garden. The side I didn't keep up with. The side that the crops all seemed to fail this spring. They didn't grow right, so I gave up. I let the weeds grow. I had weeded just a week ago, but the weeds came back. I looked at those weeds and realized that I could either look at them and shake my head with disgust and defeat, or I could bend over and get to work. After all, the rain last night was good for something. It was good for softening the dirt. Good for pulling those weeds. And that is what I did. For hours. Rain makes things grow, but it also loosens the soil around the weeds that need to come out so the good plants can grow. It takes work, but why not do the dirty work of pulling weeds on a day I don't like so much anyway.
I moved on to my potato plants. Three rows of mounded dirt with dead plants and weeds atop. Those crummy potato plants that grew beautifully until the potato bugs took over. They got away from me. I usually pick them off one by one. This year, they multiplied faster than I could work. I had given up. The plants got eaten. I assumed my harvest would be slim this year, along with the carrots, onions and beets that I planted this spring. I began to dig. Why not? I was filthy anyway. Maybe if I dug up those potatoes next, I could till this half of the garden and begin a late summer planting of this mess. I filled one bucket after another of those potatoes that I thought had failed.
"Sometimes the blessings come through raindrops (or drops of sweat from my forehead)" Sometimes the healing comes through tears (or exhaustion of digging potatoes in a soggy garden)" God began to show me how I could rejoice in today. In this day. That He made. He gave me a song. He gave me a garden. He gave me rain, and soft soil. He gave me work, hard work. He gave me time with my wandering thoughts. He gave me miracles under the ground. An underground harvest far greater than the plants revealed above the ground. I gave my little girls my childhood memories as they gathered the big and little potato surprises. He gave me exhaustion. The desperate need for refreshing water to drink. He gave me a swimming pool tainted with algae from the hot summer sun to jump in anyway because I needed to be refreshed and any water would do. He gave me words to share. He gave me the ability to know that regardless of my work, He works. His treasures are beyond my ability to see. They are often hidden in the mud. They come through sweat and tears, and exhaustion.
This morning I read that we are not left to ourselves in the fight of faith. "It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Philippians 2;13 Even as my efforts failed and the bugs got to the plants before me.....the roots grew deep and the harvest depended on the Lord. Yesterday in church, we learned of the importance of living in such a way that the end is in sight. That we should consider ALL loss if not for Christ. One of children wondered why if those things (meaning our work and accomplishments in each day, and our families, and loves) are good things. I believe if we keep ourselves rooted in the final day...the rest is what God has given to us to equip up along the way.
I suppose I'm not done learning why I should rejoice in today. I still don't like this day. I never will. But I am thankful for the tools that God has given me to make it thus far.