Sunday, August 01, 2021
Start with Diligence

Transformation Begins with Us

As I awakened this morning, I pondered, “How will you toil your garden?”

Early in the pandemic season, I went to my sunroom and began to toil the soil for my garden, readying the dirt and acclimating it to receive new plants. I remember putting in things like eggshells and coffee grounds, adding a mulch potting mix, dampening the soil with water, and stirring the dirt to posture it for planting. I gave it purpose.

One by one, I transferred old plants to new spaces and watched them flourish and grow within the season. At times, I would snip things back a little – a tactic done to keep plants fresh, lively, and growing well.

In other pots, I’d plant new seedlings – some for annual flowers, some for tomatoes, others for pepper plants. I even started onions and potatoes from their sprouts.

I’d visit my sunroom, talk to and water my plants, and bring a little coffee for conversation.

At some point, the frequency of my visits to my sunroom and outdoor garden changed, and I found myself spending more time responding to the grander needs of my focus, because all of the plants were in a state of flourishing.

The first words I heard when I awakened were, “Remember at the start of the season how you toiled the dirt of your garden? Everything felt so new. It was an exciting time!”

This thought renewed my excitement and generated a special focus to love on the plants in my garden a little more. The Lord showed me how the plants didn’t just flourish on their own – He reminded me how the work of my hands produced a harvest. He had placed the desire within me, and I had made an accomplishment. I’ve always had a passion for making things grow, and gardening is just one of the avenues that ignites my desire to bring about a fruitful harvest.

As I walked into my home office earlier this morning, I was faced with a painting I had done at a Paint, Pray, & Praise event. The picture features vivid and vibrant colors, much like my personality and my vivid imagination; but that’s not all it holds. The painting shows the transformation of a butterfly, ready to fly, ready to explore. Atop the painting I wrote the words “Transformed & Renewed,” citing Romans 12:2 –

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Seeing this painting as a fresh reminder this morning gave me a depth of peace while renewing my spirit. I looked at the butterfly and recalled the vibrant, vivid colors that I had envisioned in my mind now transferred and living on canvas. It reminded me that I am a transformer, renewed in Christ, and one who must continue forward – renewing all those things that God causes to pass through my hands.

As I rubbed my fingers against the sunset on the painting, I told God, “Thank You, God, for reminding me.”

Then I laid down to rest, and let God bring about a harvest within me.

– Kaye Howard

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