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      The Ultimate Gardener

           "Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust."  Ps. 16:1

           The following excerpt from Richard Wurmbrand's [founder of Voice Of The Marytrs] 100 Prison Meditations is thought-provoking:

           "Two Christians each planted an apple tree in front of his house.  When the time for reaping apples came, the first looked angrily at his tree: it bore not even one apple.  When he approached his neighbour's house, he became even angrier.  The branches of his brother's tree were cracking under the weight of beautiful fruits.

           He asked his brother, "Explain this to me.  We planted our trees at the same time; we serve the same God.  How is it that He gave you so many apples and none to me!" 

           The other answered, "Perhaps you did not pray for your tree." 

           "What!  Not pray?" said the first.  "I prayed every day: 'God, give me rain;  God, enough, now stop the rain.  God, sun is needed now; too much now, it might scorch my tree.'  I never neglected prayer, and it was all in vain.  How did you do it?" 

           The brother replied, "I am not so keen at prayer as you are.  I prayed only once, in the beginning, like this:  'Father, I have planted an apple tree and wish to have fruit in due time.  It is not for me to teach You how much sun and rain to give.  You are a more ancient gardener than myself.  You created Eden and all trees grow under Your direction.  Grant me apples in due time.'"

           We like to be in control.  Are we, even in our prayer life, giving God directions?  Do we think we know better than He does.  Would we ever pray for trouble, persecution, or pain?  I know I would not; yet sometimes these things are needed to advance the Kingdom of God in the earth and to develop us into the people God wants us to be.  The Ultimate Intention of God for each life is to be conformed into the image of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  As I have said in other places, God is more interested in our character than our comfort.  Personally, I tend to more interested in my comfort.  Yet the Bible abounds with people and instructions of rejoicing in trials and tribulations because they understood the ultimate intention and purpose.

           It comes comes down to how much we trust God, the Ultimate Gardner.  Do we really believe that everything He does or allows is for our ultimate good, or do we fear the process?  Can we relax and just follow the Shepherd or do we have to be in control directing our own life [and messing it up royally!].  Can we give our life to God and just leave it there?

           Does all this mean we have no desires or goals?  Of course not.  Talking about our desires and goals with God is a part of growing close to Him in prayer and relationship.  Jesus Himself asked for the cup of suffering to pass from Him and there was nothing sinful with the request.  We share our hearts with God, but we don't give Him orders.  And underlying it all is the heart attitude and desire:  You will be done.  You are the ultimate Gardener, cause my live to bloom no matter what the process.

           

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