We saw the radar map this morning.
A wide swath of heavy rain making its way toward us. The last cold front in advance of Spring’s official arrival next week.
So we changed our schedule.
We hopped on our bicycles in the cool of the morning. The still sunny morning. We put in almost eleven miles. It wasn’t until our final loop around our lake that I understood why You had used a storm to reorder our day.
We saw a neighbor working in her garden. We greeted her with smiles and she responded in kind, adding a comment that got lost in the breeze. We circled back to ask what she had said.
“If you really want some exercise, you could help me weed this garden!”
She meant it as a joke. We all laughed and chatted briefly. Then we headed for home… where You, Lord, made a comment that did not get lost in the breeze.
“Go back and help her.”
So I did.
She was shocked… then, delighted. We made a lot of progress in her garden. But her real “delight” came when she realized You had sent me there, Lord. We both realized it.
Because we quickly moved from the weeds in the garden to the weeds in her heart.
Choking weeds. Making it hard for her to “bloom” anymore.
Sudden storms in life had drenched her and her dear husband. They would have gone completely under but for Your Grace, Lord. When the waters receded, the weeds took over.
Weeds that started in the head and moved into the heart. Weeds like discouragement and depression. The death of dreams and Hope.
They both love You, Lord. But life has been hard in the wake of those storms. They are struggling to hold on. Struggling more than they let on.
So You sent me today. A shadow of You… with skin on.
A helper to love them. To come alongside. To notice the weeds.
To get on my knees for them.
“Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy… Bring joy to Your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in You.” (Psalm 86:1,4)
Why was I really there, Lord? To reassure this struggling sister that You are still here? To encourage her that somehow, You will come into their impossible situation… and their garden will one day bloom again?
You met us in that garden today as only You can. And by the time I left, she was reassured and encouraged… even just a little.
After I got home, those torrential rains came as predicted. But by Your Grace, Lord, we had already been drenched.
“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)
A garden well-watered… and well-weeded.