It was time, past time! Time to trim the hedges. A job that I didn’t mind so much when the hedges were small. But now after 2 ½ years of growth, it takes more manpower (or in my case womanpower 😉) to get the job done. So, while my husband mowed, I took the electric hedge trimmers to the shrubs. In addition to the size of the shrubs making it more of a chore, the heat index was much higher than I wanted. I had envisioned autumn blowing in her cooler temperatures for me to tackle this job. Unfortunately, not only the size of the hedges and the heat were unhelpful but also the gnats. My husband and I both agree, if we would have known this area was “Egypt plagued” with gnats, we would have never moved here. The gnats are not nice! Swarming at your ears, your eyes, your nose, and anywhere sweat is beading up on your body, they make their appearance. The verse, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted” (Psalm 119:71, [NASB]) always comes to mind. Besides, swatting at them with a power tool in your hands is not recommended!! I absolutely pray before I pick up the trimmers for God’s protection. Being somewhat of a klutz makes me serious about praying for such a task.
When it’s all over, my husband and I love to stand back and take in a job well done. We can appreciate yard work besides being thankful for our little piece of land.
Nevertheless, as I was deep in the branches, perspiring and not thinking humane thoughts toward the gnat population, a thought sprang up~ Do I ever work this hard to plant beauty in my soul? Do I press on to plant beauty in my soul even when a stomach is growling or a leg pain piercing? Do I work at it with all my might (Ecclesiastes 9:10) so I’m equipped with God’s Word that produces lasting peace when everything around me is topsy-turvy? I want order and beauty in my yard but what about in the depths of my heart where it matters most?
When do we put the gloves on and work “diligently” to extract hidden truths from God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15)? Are we beaded with perspiration digging deeply while pushing against the opposition of the adversary (1 Peter 5:8)? Have we appropriated the armor of God today, yesterday, last week? “Stand firm therefore;” With your loins girded with truth (Ephesians 6:10-18)!
Please don’t miss the second part of “It is good for me that I was afflicted” (Psalm 119:71)— “That I may learn Thy statutes.” Affliction drives us to God’s Word, if we’re smart. The gnats are working for me! 😉 So, dig deep for spiritual truths even amid the sweat and pain this life produces to say: “With all my heart I will observe Thy precepts” (Psalm 119:69b).
It’s time to dig deep!
Have you felt the perspiration lately?