Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Tea - The power of persistence

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13
Do you ever look around you and wonder how in the world you can accomplish what is set before you?  I have that feeling often but never more than in the spring when everything needs my attention at once.  Which is why my indoor spring cleaning begins in late winter.

This spring the weather has made for a late planting of the cool weather veggies.  I used the extra time to fill the wheelbarrow with dry leaves and that which remained in the garden during winter... little by little filling up three wheelbarrows full from the raised beds for my husband to take to the forest (some things go to the compost, others are better sent to the forest... which begins left of the gravel lane).

It took me days to do this simple task, along with getting the herb bed tidied and checked for what did and did not make it through the harsh winter.  But it did get accomplished and ready for planting as soon as Hubby can get the soil ready. 

I took a walk around the fence line of our property and I admit the sight was overwhelming.  I told my husband it looked like Maw and Paw Kettle lived here.  For it is a mess along the fence line. 

Each year the forest makes an attempt to reclaim the land and one must do constant battle to keep it in check.  I have baby trees, brush, and weeds growing everywhere near the very long fence.  What once was a good idea of a previous owner... to dig up and landscape in this area... has become overwhelming to maintain ten or more years later.

It really is enough to make one want to give up and move to a condo in town.  Especially when one wakes up tired already each day.  However, I have learned this is what I must push through in April and early May if I want Beauty in June. 

So you do what you can with the strength you have... one moment at a time, one hour at a time, and one day at a time.   You keep a mental picture of the goal and that keeps you going through the difficult days. 

Whether it is a landscape, a salad made from your own garden greens and herbs, a diploma, learning to knit a sweater or paint a landscape, a well behaved child, or a Holiday meal... you must be persistent toward that goal.

The above verse has been on my mind this week.  I heard an excellent Bible teacher talking about this verse one time.  She said it means God equips us for what He has called us to do.  She went on to say too many times people take on work for which God has not called them and then expect Him to rescue them when they are in over their heads.  But it doesn't work that way.

No, instead He sanctifies those He calls and that which He has put before us.  If you stop to ponder long enough, you know what it is.  For instance, I know He wants me to plant a garden.  I also know this is the house and the property where we were to live so He will strengthen me to garden and to take care of it... a little at a time.

Now, I have had Him surprise me with unexpected income which makes it possible to hire work done when needed.  But more than often... He provides grace and mercy and strength to do the work for which I am called.

Sometimes He gifts me with words when I think there is no way a blog post is being written while other times I know He is calling me to take a break and spend more time... pondering... becoming refreshed to write again days or weeks later.

I find He often nudges me beyond what I think I can do.  Garden again this year?  I don't think so.  Show hospitality by having people over for a meal?  Let me take a nap instead.  Travel to visit family?  I have a hard enough time going to the grocery store!

So I stomp my feet and pout and tell God if He really wanted me to do... whatever... He would heal me or prosper me or provide that brand new car for the trip or my own computer again or change the weather.

But instead He tells me He is sufficient for anything He has called me to do.  Is this work truly what He is asking?  Then I can do all things through Christ... even if it is done a little at a time.

Or am I becoming overwhelmed and out of control doing a work for which He did not require me to do?  Is it time to set aside that which was once His calling or is He asking me to freshen up and make a few changes and simply renew an old way of doing things?

We can only know His wisdom when we take the time to become quiet and ask... and listen.  He may say "My grace is sufficient" and ask us to be persistent in our journey.  He may tell us it is time to stop.  Or move on.  Or perhaps give us wisdom that this is just not His time for what we desire to do.

If we are doing the work for which He made us... it will probably not always be easy but it will be fulfilling.  If what is our goal is honestly His goal, too, then it will be accomplished.  Perhaps quickly.  Most likely a little at a time.

But never if we give up trying.  He does not expect perfection.  He "knows we are but dust".  But He does require persistence and faithfulness.

I know when I come to the end of my journey, that which I hand Him will be much like the crafting my children did in preschool.  Sometimes I was not certain just what the object was suppose to be but it was beautiful... and proudly displayed... because I loved the very young artist. 

I believe my Heavenly Father's response to my imperfect attempts will be just the same as I do what I can, with the strength given, in the journey of His calling.  And never give up.


Vee said...

Oh Brenda! This one hit me. I have a pile of leaves raked out of the very wee front garden and zero energy to get it over the banking. It has been there nearly a week. I'd beg John to do it, but he has no oomph either. Sometimes John will tell about the importance of having the correct tool for the job. I don't always feel as if I do or as if I am. Good thing that He promises to be strength in weakness.

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Of all the lovely things you said today, I was caught by this line:

"...I must push through in April and early May if I want Beauty in June."

Put like that it gives me impetus to put forth some energy and time now, knowing Beauty awaits.

Wishing you a beautiful rest of the day...

Brenda L.

grannok43 said...

Your gift with words always inspires me.
I have been given tasks and try to be patient for the GOD given strength to fulfill them.

Deb said...

What a truly beautiful post. It really spoke to my heart. We have some tough things going on in our family right now and this post was a great encouragement to trust God each day and know that He will give us strength. Thanks!

Kathy said...

Thank you for this post today!

Feeling discouraged...but thank you for reminding me of the promise of Phil 4:13.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Little by little has to be my motto, too...But what can be accomplished that way is truly amazing!

rebecca said...

This morning, Rick Warren tweeted: "God always gives enough time to do His Will. If you lack time, you're either doing things out of his will, OR in wrong ways."

I think I'm getting a message here!

Kim said...

This was perfect for me today. Thank you.