Lessons in the Lawn: Loving Doses of Reality

Published May 21, 2013 by Dawn

I don’t know why it is but it seems conversations with the Lord are very rich when I’m mowing the lawn. Though not always what I want to hear, He speaks to me clearly in those times. Take last week, for instance.

It had rained most of the previous two weeks, and the yard was a veritable wilderness. Mind you, I am also mowing with a rotary mower now, which makes cutting through wilderness especially difficult. Finally, a weekend without rain came and I knew the mess had to be dealt with. After half an hour or so of mowing just the front yard, which isn’t very big, I was getting really frustrated. My yard was full of dandelions to the degree that it looked like a white field of poppies, and my mower blade was just scattering spores and leaving stalks. They were everywhere! By the time I made it around to my back yard, I was thoroughly discouraged. My time spent mowing seemed absolutely fruitless and I had a lot left to do. To top it off, there was so many weeds and not enough grass to make the job even remotely manageable. I tried to be optimistic: I began picking out my favorite weeds and telling the Lord that if the whole yard could just be this weed or that kind of grass, it would be so much easier to deal with, which would make me tons happier about mowing it. Toward the back of the yard, I noticed small sections of nothing but thick, luscious grass and I literally began thanking God for it! At this point, the Lord must have been done with my whining because He finally spoke. He said, “Even if the whole yard was that kind of grass, you’d still find a reason to complain about it.”

Ouch. His blunt response to me shut me up real quick and gave the Holy Spirit time to explain to me that it is the weeds that cause me to joy in the simplistic beauty of grass. Just like it’s the weeds in life that cause us to take pleasure in the simple things. The weeds help us to appreciate the simple things we would otherwise overlook. The obstacles in our lives give us perspective, and cause us to well up with appreciation in the quieter, more peaceful moments.

This week, my son was supposed to mow the yard. It was a deal. I bought something for him with the stipulation that he do a chore to pay me back for it. He also owed me a chore for losing a bet over whether or not it was going to rain one day. I gave him the yard because not only did it need done, I didn’t want to do it. I was really looking forward to not doing it, and so you can imagine my anger and frustration when Saturday came and after he mowed for about ten minutes, he came in the house and had a meltdown because he didn’t want to finish it. I went through every emotion in me, vented my frustration and then went out to finish the yard. Every emotion I’ve ever had regarding disappointment began flooding me, and while I mowed, I stewed in bitterness. I knew it was wrong, and after a while of feeling it all, I began to pray. “Lord, I am so sorry I feel this way. I know this is displeasing to you. I know this attitude is not your will for me, but I don’t know how to let go of it. How do you continue to look at me when I am so absolutely repulsive inside? And very gently He said, “You forget … I look past the fault and see the need.”

I really wasn’t expecting that from God. I mean, of course I know what the Bible says. I know the scriptures that are full of love and mercy, but I guess I just don’t understand the parental patience of God. I was expecting Him to be disgusted with me, sick of hearing my complaints and hurts. I expected Him to be weary of my prideful self-pity and my tendency to nurse the memory of wounds that should be healed by now. What surprised me the most was that He didn’t minimize my sin in the matter, He both acknowledged it and disregarded it. He didn’t say there was no fault. But He did say He looks past the fault. Looks past the fault and sees my need. And with that realization, I was flooded with this amazing peace. God knows my needs. He knows why I keep reliving this pain. He understands all the areas in my life I still need deliverance in. Therefore, He understands my sin, my reactions to other people, my tears. He understands me. And what’s more: His grace abounds.

Thank you, Father, for looking past my faults to see my need. Fill me with your grace and peace and love, and I pray most humbly for the deliverance in my heart from the pain of my past. I love and adore you. Love, Dawn

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