John 15:4-6 New International Version (NIV)
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
“Oh, you accomplished this did you?”
After working in the garden at 100% humidity– I stopped to rest and drink some water. Even though I was exhausted, I looked around and took pride in the garden.
My husband told me that he would not be able to help in the garden this year because of his back problems. Stubbornly I pursued the task of planting and weeding. We failed to place a layer of wood chips in the fall which would have kept the weeds under control.
Observing the thriving plants, I thought, “Look at this, I planted all this by myself and it looks so good.”
Immediately the Lord reminded me that all I did was plant and weed the garden – he caused the growth with the abundance of rain and sunshine. I felt like Job when the Lord challenged him for using words without knowledge in Job 38-41. Oops, sorry Lord.
He encouraged me to look at the strawberry patch that was overgrown with weeds.
“That is what you can take credit for – a mess. Without me you can do nothing!”
Thankfully, after four days of pulling weeds the strawberry patches are cleared of those tall weeds.
Just like Job, I was challenged that God is the creator and sustainer of life. Success comes from acknowledging his majesty and authority over all I attempt. Whether it is gardening, volunteering, or any area of my life, the praise should go to God.
It is important to recognize the weeds as they creep into the strawberry patch.
Just like these fake strawberry vines, we must be aware of the invaders.
Are we taking pride in ourselves and our accomplishments without acknowledging that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father and without Him we can do nothing.
Thank you Lord for giving me strength and stamina to pull those weeds!
Job 38 New International Version (NIV)
The Lord Speaks
38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?