[bl]R[/bl]edeeming the land. That’s what we’re doing. For all of God’s creation needs redeeming. Not just us. We purchased ten and a half acres that haven’t been cared for in a long time. It was once loved and tended to. But those loving hands grew old. Where corn used to grow tall in the fields, there is now woods. Woods that have grown up over decades. From a distance, it appears as woods that have always been there. But when you get closer, when you step into the covering, you see the wooded environment for what it really is. A thicket of overgrown weeds and wild bushes.
And if you look closer, you notice the trees that were intentionally placed, planted by the ones before us. Sadly, they are disguised and hidden by all that has grown as a result of no one tending the earth. Some of the weeds are sneaky. They actually look like bushes. Some of them have defenses. Long thorns that tempt us to stay away. And then there are the vines. The ones that creep up the healthy strong trees and literally spend years strangling them to death.
All the wild, overgrown shrubs have taken over the environment, making it difficult for the oaks and maples and evergreen pines to survive.
Unintentional living has a way of taking over intentional life.
Our woods are not an environment of grace. It’s where the wild and thorny thrive and spread, not the tall and strong. It’s a place so covered with overgrowth, that light doesn’t enter and bring life to all that needs it. As we prune, clear, dig and remove, we are making room for the kind of life we desire.
We are letting light shine through, making paths for entering and exploring.
Oh that Jesus would do this to our heart. Cut out all that keeps real life from growing. Prune out the thorny boundaries we expose that prevent people from getting too close to us. Make clearings that allow his light to penetrate all the good in us.
God created the land to be hospitable for us. A place that would welcome us to take from it, survive on it. It was meant to hold us, heal us, bless us. God’s home for us on this earth is the land. His colors, his sizes, his creations and designs are like nothing we can imitate. And in turn, we were meant to care for the land. Live on it like it is a gift, something to appreciate. And like our man made homes, the land ought not be a show house of beauty. Rather, a place we use, explore, create. But with a faithful, responsible spirit of gratitude for all that God has created.
God intended for his entire creation to exist in a relationship of love and grace. Man, animals and the earth, co-existing in harmony with one another. Mutually providing for one another. When sin entered creation, these relationships became broken. Death, revenge, over consumption, hatred, and pride have altered these relationships, leaving all of us in need of redemption. Healing. Restoration.
Our family looks forward to bringing this small piece of God’s earth back to life. Restoring it to be a place that produces life. A hospitable home to food and animals. A place that holds our family. And invites you to share in its richness. We pray we do this responsibly. That we always look at this land as a gift from God. Something to share with others.
I ask you the very questions I am asking myself today:
What is growing wild in you? Taking over the intentional life you desire?
What can be pruned and cut away so the life God desires for you will begin to flourish?
What are the thorns that you expose? The boundaries you create that keep others at a distance?
How can your heart be more hospitable to yourself? Your family? Strangers?
Blessings on your weekend!