Remember in kindergarten when we would do earth science projects like digging for worms or watching the clouds?
Or was that just me during outside playtime?
I'm not sure.
But I do remember being given a small flowerpot when I was about 6 or 7, a cup of soil, & an individual sized packet of tiny seeds for planting. I remember clumsily lining up around a small table with a few of my fellow booger-pickers & painting that pot all sorts of bright colors. Back then, that was the most fun part for me---decorating what would soon be the home of something new. A day later we would all gather around the same table, this time outside, & fill our pots with that fresh smelly soil & a few tiny seeds.
As all 6 year olds would, I remember looking at that pot of soil & premature seedling & thinking, "now what?" The seed was planted but the sprout hadn't yet burst forth above the soil for all the world to see.
I find myself experiencing something similar today, except I'm not gardening in a schoolyard.
I'm gardening my life.
Over the past year I've been sensing this thing happening: Seeds being planted in the form of dreams & visions in the soil of my heart as well as the hearts of those around me. They've been brewing there for some time now, all the while the world hasn't yet seen the sprouting of their reality. And like that 6 year old staring down at her flowerpot full of soil, we’re standing here waiting for something to sprout.
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
Isaiah 43:18, MSG
A vital part to allowing the “new” is letting go of the "old". We have to make room in our hearts, minds, & lives for something that is unlike what we have seen before. That means loosening our grasp off of the ways we’ve done things in the past & allowing the Lord to walk us into new territory.
This doesn’t mean we dishonor who has come before us or ignore the hard labor they’ve invested. All of that served a great purpose in it’s own season. We don’t forget the lessons we’ve learned, but rather we uproot the aspects that have sown seeds of doubt or bitterness in a field for which the Lord has great plans. Take the gold, leave the dirt. It’s like when you dig up old soil---it’s all dusty & dry. Nothing grows in dusty & dry places. New seeds need rich, moistened, & settled soil to grow properly, just like new things need hopeful, healthy, & full of belief people in which to establish themselves.
There is no room for disbelief.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Isaiah 43:19, MSG
I must have checked that little flowerpot at least once a day for a month to see if the seedling had started sprouting. For weeks there was nothing---just the same flat soil I kept watering. I was told that the seedling needed that water to grow strong enough to push through the dirt & I believed that so much that I kept watering it without any signs of change.
The little secrets the Lord speaks to us, the promises He gives us in the form of dreams & visions, are worth believing so much so that we must keep watering them, even when we can’t see the evidence of their growth yet. We water them in prayer, patience, obedience, & diligence. We water those promises & we do not let go of them until we have seen them come to fruition.
I was reading an article by Jack Hayford called “Preparing For A New God-Thing” a few days ago. In his article he points out something that I had never realized before in reference to Isaiah 43:19:
“When the Lord asks, "Shall you not know it?" He is saying, "Do you want to open yourself to My new thing? Are you willing to embrace it?"
This verb "know" in the Hebrew language is far more than cerebral awareness of insight. It has to do with the total giving of yourself, as in the husband-wife relationship within marriage. This "knowing" is a total receptivity, a total embrace. The Lord is saying, "I'm going to do a new thing. Will you embrace it? Will you receive it into your life?"”
When the Lord says, “Don’t you see it?” He isn’t asking us if we are observing what He is doing. He is actually asking us if we will adopt this new thing into our own hearts & lives in a practical way. He is asking us if we will participate!
I can’t remember exactly how long it took for that little seedling to begin sprouting above the surface of the soil, but I sure remember how it felt when it finally peeked its head out. I was so proud of that little green speck. I had participated in the watering & nurturing of something new & I was so glad that I didn’t give up on it. Before I knew it that little sprout was a strong stem budding forth a pretty little flower.
What is sprouting in your life? What “new thing” has the Lord planted in your heart + asked you to nurture? You may or may not be able to see it’s sprout in this moment, but there is something there shifting & shaking up the soil underneath the surface.
Whatever it is, the Lord is asking you:
“Will you accept this new thing in your own life?
Will you be my co-laborer in this season?
Will you join me?”
I know one thing for certain. Whatever it is, I want my answer to be “yes”. 100 times over, again & again, I will say “yes”.
Alexa | Joy
For more on Jack Hayford’s article, see "Preparing For A God-Thing".