Your will, not mine

One more week until the madness ends. In my lingering euphoria over having my almost-daily migraines disappear, I agreed to let the local Master Gardeners add my yard to their summer tour of a handful of gardens.

“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs16:9, NASB). In other words, things don’t always go as planned!

Life happens. The organizer told me she can ask Master Gardener interns to come and help get ready for the event since the program requires a certain number of volunteer hours. That would work nicely!

Even without the program’s help, there is always my trusted and beloved “Yard Boy” husband to help. Now comes the task of directing the help, which doesn’t come naturally for me.

There are heavy planters to move, mulch to place, garden stakes to drive into the ground, and a dozen volunteer redbud trees to extricate from behind their curtain of foundation plantings.

What if my “help” came out and just did what they felt like doing? If they just weeded around the edging stones, it would leave the tasks that take two people for me to do alone. That means that the worst messes won’t get cleaned up at all.

The garden is not really a showplace, the group simply needed a “new” garden for the tour instead of going to the same places every couple of years.

The people who recommended our garden to the group recognized some elements of artistic design in our yard, and I’m not going to pretend that it is all accidental. Some of it is, but there is definitely some thought and planning put into our humble little backyard!

This is why any help must be directed to accomplish that creative goal.

We, as frail mortals, don’t often understand this concept when it comes to God’s will. We pray for the results we want, we then work as though our prayers are what GOD wants. Then we wonder why things don’t work out well.

Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his sacrifice for our sins was very specific. It was so fervent, so heartfelt, so earnest that it caused sweat from his brow as if it were great drops of blood. Some Bible scholars surmise that it actually was blood.

“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, ‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.’ And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground” (Luke 22:44).

Yet as fervently as Jesus yearned for his request, he was resigned to accepting the will of the Father even if it differed from his own.

God alone has all the facts, all the knowledge, and all the wisdom to answer our prayers in a way that is best for us. We don’t. Yes, we must direct our best efforts toward remedying the problems we are praying about, but we shouldn’t lose sight that God’s will just may be something entirely different.

Imagine the beauty of a garden with helpers doing the will of a creative and artistic gardener. Now, imagine a world where we are completely open to God’s will in our lives. It would be a thing of great beauty!

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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