Imagine that you are a gardener. It’s late winter and you excitedly plan your garden. In your mind you can see what it will look like when everything is in full bloom. You can smell the earth and feel it between your fingers. As soon as it is warm enough you get out and turn over the dirt, carefully planting each seed, fertilizing it and tamping down the ground around it. And then, you wait.
Are you going to go out and cover your garden so that the sun can’t shine on it, the rain can’t fall on it and the insects can’t pollinate it? No! You’re grateful for those things that nourish your garden and gently coax the seeds to sprout and help the plants to grow. If there’s not enough rain you carefully water, because you know that without enough water, your garden will wither and die.
God is also a gardener. He carefully planned for each one of us. He eagerly anticipates our blossoming – each of us reaching for the full potential of what we can be. He knows what we need to grow and to bloom. He pours his love out upon us each day in so many ways: in the gentle smile of a stranger, the kind words of a friend, a sincere compliment, the gratitude of someone we have helped, the smell of a baby. He sheds a myriad of tender mercies upon us, things that others might miss, and some might call coincidences: A comforting song on the radio, a whiff of perfume in a crowd that reminds us of someone we once knew, turning on the TV just in time to hear a story that answers a prayer, finding just the right Bible verse, running into an old friend.
Much to God’s dismay, many of us don’t receive the love he pours out on us. It’s like we’re holding up umbrellas that say “I am not worthy” or “That couldn’t be for me”. We allow God’s love to run off the umbrella and fall on the ground instead of soaking it up and blossoming.
He wants us to stand in the rain of his love, look up to the sky, open our mouths and drink it in. We need to turn those umbrellas upside down and catch as much of his love as possible. Then we can gently share his love with those around us who still have their umbrellas up, letting them taste it and helping them to find the courage to peek out from under their own umbrellas and receive it for themselves.
Make Him happy. Receive his love … and share it.
- What seeds has God planted in you?
- How does he nurture them in your life?
- What form does “the rain of his love” take in your life?
- Are you using an umbrella that blocks his love from fully nurturing your life?
- What are you willing to do to turn your umbrella upside down, catch his love and share it with others?