Saturday, September 17, 2011

Modest good news!

3:28 p.m. Today's project was to clean up old garden vines, harvest some late produce, and preserve some veggies for the next seasons. Green beans, yellow cherry tomatoes and Bell peppers are today's selections. We'll pick cantaloupe and watermelon in a few weeks. That will be well worth the wait.

Our good news was that our lawnmower is fixed, and all they had to do was flush the oil out of the gas tank, carburetor and fuel line, and gas out of the oil pan. Otherwise, the mower is sound, and the bill is half of what I was expecting. You rock, Empire Mowers!

Overgrown lawns aren't sinful--although the condition could signify sloth if the necessary equipment were available. It's not unsafe. Our unkempt look may actually be "waterwise!" Lawn experts recommend not mowing one's lawn too short during the summer because longer blades retain water better. No wonder our jungle looks so green without a daily watering!

But the unsightly appearance, unusual because Steve normally mows every week or so, is disturbing to me. And the excess grass, busily retaining moisture, has seen a solid crop of nasty black toadstools and is crowding out some flowering plants on the slope in the front of the house. Steve raked out the toadstools--or mushrooms, possibly--and pointed out to me a large tree root that was growing back up to the surface, turned black. That's what the fungus was eating away at. So I think tree and landscape people need to get involved, even after the mower comes home on Monday. Just as we had to trust the Lord with the price of mower repair, we'll trust Him to find us help to get at problems below the surface.

So much of life is going on busily, unbeknownst to us, below the surface of our priorities and beyond the farthest galaxies in the heavenlies. A person may seem standoffish, but we don't realize that they may have an overwhelming issue preoccupying them. That's why it's my practice to go past first impressions to become familiar with each individual's consistent pattern of behavior, while praying between meetings with them for God to show me how best to minister to them. God knows each person better than we know ourselves! Hebrews 4:13 (NLT) says,

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable.

As for God' dealings in the lives of everyone who has ever been or will be born, there is an unseen realm of spiritual activity where Satan and his demons battle for the souls of men against God's armies of angels. Ever wonder why your life seems so full of opposition when you make a decision to commit your life to God, by the shed blood of Jesus Christ? Or when you decide that being saved was just the first step in your new life, and you determine to read your Bible daily, pray, spend time studying God's word with other Christians and tell others about your salvation? Ephesians 6:11-12 tells us to use all of those actions--our spiritual armor:

Put on all the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Because I believe that God knows me and what I need, and when, and is not limited to monumental acts such as creating and saving me and bringing me my husband of 30 years and my children, I can trust Him. I can rely on Him to take care of troubles that are serious, like Steve's Alzheimer's, and problems that annoy and embarrass me, due to the trappings of American civilization and neighborhood standards, like our overgrown grass. Whether earth-shattering or trivial, God knows my needs and desires, and gives me reasons for great joy in circumstances in which deep depression would have characterized me before I came to Christ.

God's in huge good news--our son Kriss and his wife Marisela are expecting! And God's in modest good news--our lawnmower is fixed!

It's all good for the believer in Jesus Christ.

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