Abba, Abba. How Does Your Garden Grow?

Blog Post by Stan Kellner,

(Read Isaiah 28:23-29)

I’ve got to cut to the chase regarding this passage.  It has haunted me for years.  If there’s anything I’ve struggled with consistently throughout my walk with Jesus it’s the concept of knowing how long a trial is going to be and can I make it to the end?

Yes, Scripture tells me that nothing we encounter is totally foreign to the rest of the human race.  Further, I’m told that God will not allow me to carry more than I can handle and, even at that, make a way to escape so I can endure it.

Okay, but I’m not the rest of the human race and I have had times where I have felt that not only is it too much but there seems to be absolutely no end in sight. 

I’ve been in a 5+ year intense pruning process with the Lord.  I’ve made some mistakes along the way but I also am convinced that God has led me to some decisions clearly by His hand that plain fell apart through no fault of my own.

How do I cope?  How do I comprehend this?  First, I’m still working on the coping part.  But what I do know is that God wastes nothing, knows everything about me, is not surprised by my circumstances (no matter how haywire they may feel) and God loves me!  Second, Isaiah 55:11 and Romans 11:33 tells me that God’s ways are beyond my finding out.  Even though that can be frustrating at times, mostly it brings me peace.

It’s like, “Okay, God, I get it.  You are there, you love me, my life just fell apart and I can’t explain why or how but I know that it isn’t all about the plans but rather it’s all about YOU.

As I reflect on the passage in Isaiah as he writes about the planting, cultivating and reaping process several truths jump out at me:

  • God’s work in us is very particular to us.  Notice Isaiah says that the farmer sows dill but scatters cumin.  He plants wheat in rows, barley in its place and rye within its area.  Very specific plants, very specific ways to plant, very specific outcomes.
  • The harvesting is very different as well – dill is beaten out with a rod not with a threshing sledge (whatever that is!).  Cummin is beaten with a club not a cartwheel.  Again, very particular treatment for each individual crop.
  • So far we see also that for us – while all of us are to grow in Christ and there are core principles related to how we grow, we must be careful not to judge how God is growing us versus another believer. I confess that I am guilty of this way too often. 
  • This last point is what God uses to so often stabilize me in the midst of big, hairy trials.  Note what the passage says, “…he does not continue to thresh it forever, because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it…”  What I get from this verse is that there is an end in sight and, yes, God knows how long I’m supposed to be in this trial.  Also, even though I don’t always feel this way, God is not damaging me but rather bringing me through a necessary process, not because He is spiteful but because He cherishes me and cares for me deeply.

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