This may not be the most profound example but, this morning I found this surprise life in a very unexpected place. But first I want to tell a little about the past few months for my family.
The past year was mostly a year of seeking the Lord and growing in relationship with Him. We didn’t “do” much as far as outwardly visible ministry but, I have been seeking Him regularly at about 5am every morning and He has been guiding me deeper into “His rest”. It has been more a time of growth than harvest, spiritually speaking.
Finally this fall, I felt lead to come out of “hiding” a little bit and take on a few things. Namely, some visible writing and a shift at Gateway (a 24/7 House of Prayer and Worship). I believe that God has confirmed both of these and since taking this step of faith, He has increased His grace on my life.
At the same time, it seems the enemy has increased his attacks. We have had a few dangerously close calls with death and everyone in our home has been sick at least once, which is very unusual for us. However, we will testify that God has been gracious and protected us in a very real way from serious harm.
So, it’s the middle of winter here, in “Amish Country, Pa.” The past month has been mostly below freezing and we are getting snow upon snow, which is a real hassle for us and our difficult gravel driveway that sometimes seems more like a trail up a mountain. Living in a log cabin in the country may sound ideal but, sometimes it’s a big nuisance.
You could say that we live on a “farmette”; with our couple of Black Angus cattle, dogs, acres, garden and chickens on the way. As I write this, the snow continues to fall and the weathermen predict a few more storms this week. The Wood stove has been burning non-stop for the past few weeks and the cows have been burning with anger at me for even longer. If only their rage was enough to keep them warm in this frosty cold…
So, finally getting to my point: I took this pic today when I found this little sprout growing in my wheelbarrow and it was a reminder of God’s promises and sovereign Ways. Apparently a seed was somehow nestled in my wood pile or lodged within the bark of the logs. I unknowingly brought it into the warm basement, covered among the pieces of bark and wood; and it found enough moisture from a little melted snow to bring life amidst a pile of dead wood!
Ecclesiastes 3 describes how there is times to every seasons and winter is definitely not the season to be planting a physical garden or looking for a harvest in the natural. Sometimes we may feel buried under cold and damp snow but, God has a way of using the most frozen things in our lives as irrigation to unseen seed in hidden places!
Isaiah 55 records: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it!”
Jesus is the logos/Word of God (John 1:1 and Rev.19:10). He accomplishes everything that the Father has sent Him to do and His Gospel is likened to rain and even snow that brings life to the buried seed! Sometimes, it may seem like we are in a season with no spiritual growth because we may be in a “frozen” place or in isolation but, it may be within that very place that God is bringing brand new life!
Isaiah wrote in 43:18-19a,20b-21 ““Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
19Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way…
to give drink to my chosen people,
21 the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise.“
Maybe God has created something unique like one lone sprout that is still imperceptible under a pile of dead wood in your life! Let’s do like Paul wrote; “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13) and believe that God does bring spiritual increase in every situation of our lives despite what we see with our physical eyes! There may just be a “tree of life” about to sprout up in the middle of your seemingly lifeless or even frozen circumstances!