The Furnace of Affliction (a.k.a. The Sun)

The seeds are planted at the right depth, the right time, in the right fashion.   Careful tending and watering bring an assurance that the sprouts will pop up in 7-10 days.   But you watch, you wait.   At day 14 – still nothing.   You begin to believe something has gone terribly wrong, that the cooler-than-usual weather has destroyed the promise.   You consider running to the store for another package of seeds,  concerned at the time you have lost for the growing season, fairly short in our arid, mountainous region.   Will there even be time for a harvest now?   Another week goes by and daily the barren soil just lies befor you.   You figure there is no choice but to run to the nursery for some established seedlings.   You are taking things into your own hands.

But before you get there on one hot, sunny day, one extremely blazing-hot-sun day, you glance at the patch of garden where disappointment has been and you start to look away, but the tiniest green spot grabs your attention.   And look –  all over: the most fragile and minute seedlings are emerging – just as you had planted them.   They have arrived!   They are here in their glory!   Hope has not been lost.   What the good soil and little seed could not do alone, what watering and watching did not produce immediately, the intensity of the heat of the sun bearing down caused the moisture locked beneath the soil’s visible crust to rise and soften that seed.    And just like Jesus,  from the 3rd day in the tomb, risen!   Indeed!

We work to do it all like we are “supposed” to.   We hide the Word of God in our hearts, we meditate on it.   We allow ourselves to be washed with the water of the Word.   We receive the good seed and we wait and wonder: where is the fruit?   We are devasted at the barrenness in our lives in certain areas.   And sometimes even years after witnessing and declaring  the faithfulness of God, we face yet another opportunity to choose to believe…or not.   There are variables in sowing and reaping.  

And to our dismay, at times, a very hot day in the furnace of affliction becomes the defining moment,  the proof we need that He remains faithful.   In the  fiery brilliance of distress and the cry for relief, we become  a living example, as the “water of the Word,” under fire of affliction, begins to rise up around us consuming us like a sauna, and in that moment of seed-shattering brokenness  – new fruitfulness!   New life!   The thing we longed for – the intensity of the blaze, exposes in us.  

And again, in the bright light of day, we lift our face to the sun and declare: He is faithful!   He is so faithful!

More “Grace from the Garden” for me, I guess.   Everytime I am digging in the dirt (in my little suburban backyard) – God is revealing more of Himself to me.  

What if I lived on a farm!?!…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF/GRACE NOTE:   The fruitfulness in faith required the fire.   He who began  a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it, variables notwithstanding.   That is settled.

pictured: a Google Image

2 thoughts on “The Furnace of Affliction (a.k.a. The Sun)

  1. Was this just for me today? Being a gal who likes my hands in the dirt, I couldn’t have written it better…about the seedlings and about the faithfulness.

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