Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beautiful seeds?

Sometimes I ask God for something, and I expect beauty - a blooming rosebush or a 20 foot tall red maple with thick branches for swings and a canopy of leaves for shade.  And what He gives is a seed. 

Looks like a rock. 
Doesn't taste good or look pretty and is not useful. 
Actually, it looks dead. 

Maybe the seed is a dream or an idea or a need or a longing or just my broken heart.

But I was looking for the book published, the success of a child raised and following God whole-heartedly, the ministry established and bearing fruit, the house built, the business actually making money. 

"But to look at seeds and believe He will feed us?  When what He gives doesn't look like near enough.  When it looks like less than a handful instead of a plateful, a year full, a life full.  When it looks inedible.  These seeds, they are food?  It looks like a bit of a joke."  Ann Voskamp "One Thousand Gifts devotional"

I recognize the result as beauty, but I'm completely blind to the beauty of the nurturing it takes to grow the seed. 

Is it beauty to till and dig in dirt? 
To fertilize and plant?
Is it glamorous to wait for the seed to poke its first tiny shoot through ground and then to shelter that fragile plant from wind and hail and animals and heavy feet? 
Is sweating in the sun to pull weeds beauty?
And standing in the hot, dry wind to give water to the thirsty roots? 
And always with the WAITING. 

Faith is beauty. 

Faith to look at that tiny little rock seed and trust:
"Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations."  (Rev. 15:3b)  
To believe that what seems small and ugly and useless - and today I feel EMPTY God! - could ever be big enough and beautiful enough.  That there would be enough grace to cover even me.

So the patience to wait and the courage to trust - even these words themselves - they're all gifts.  And I choose trust because I choose confidence that the Source of all gifts is good, and He LOVES me.  Broken, small, ugly, useless me. 

What unfathomable grace!