The Lord’s word came to me: Human one, compose a riddle and a parable about the house of Israel. Say, The Lord God proclaims: The great eagle with great wings, long feathers, and full, colorful plumage came to Lebanon and took the top branch of the cedar. He plucked a twig from the cedar’s crown, brought it to the land of traders, and set it down in a city of merchants. He took a native seed and planted it in a prepared field, placing it like a willow beside plentiful water. It grew and became a low-spreading vine. Its foliage turned toward him, and its roots developed under him. And so it became a vine, and it produced branches and sent out its shoots.
Now there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage. This vine bent its roots and turned its branches toward him so that it might draw more water from him than from its own bed, a good field with plentiful water where it was planted to grow branches, bear fruit, and become a splendid vine. Say, The Lord God proclaims: Will it thrive? Won’t he tear out its roots, strip its fruit, and cause all the leaves of its branches to wither? It will dry up, and no one will need a strong arm or a mighty army to uproot it. Though it is planted, will it thrive? When the east wind touches it, won’t it completely wither? On the bed in which it was planted, it will wither away. (Ezekiel 17:1-10, Common English Bible)
As I read this and many other passages from scripture I find my mind going places, and I believe in my heart that sometimes the spirit sends us places as we are reading scripture. When I read this today the spirit sent me to my backyard. It’s not a big backyard, but its my backyard and every time I am in that place I feel God’s spirit.
It’s a very intentional reason why. I will tell you in a second why that is, but first let’s talk about green grass.
There have been many times in my life and I am sure in your life that you have heard that the grass is greener on the other side. Every time I read this scripture I am reminded of this famous quote. I am convicted though when I read verse 10.
Though it is planted, will it thrive?
Anybody that has ever planted anything that just planting something doesn’t a growing plant make. Planting the plant is just the beginning, you have to feed it, water it, attend to it. We know this, but we really don’t like it. And when we don’t like things and doing certain things, we tend to ignore it and hope that it disappears.
The only problem with that is anything that grows does not grow effectively and efficiently on its own. Just automatically. There is work that has to be done for growth to happen. In the church and in our individual lives really don’t like this either. We all struggle to be in the word of God and bible study and true holy discipleship. We really want to experience an incredible worship and have fun at awesome events, but discipleship is not on the top of things that we desire to do, but it necessary.
Back to my backyard. In my backyard is a garden box that was given to my wife, Amy for her birthday one year by her dad, Tracy. Every year we plant tomatoes, green peppers, strawberries, herbs of all kinds in this raise garden bed box. I always say on that day that I feel close to God that day. I feel His spirit guiding me and directing me.
Then I move on to something else.
Sometimes the plants don’t do well, because of many reasons but sometimes it’s the plants are not fed, water, or attended to as they should be. In this season we have to recognize the need to work, to study, to learn, to grow, and to share. We have to recognize that the water on the other side of the fence is not greener, the truth is that the grass is greener when it’s watered.
Where do you need to water your life? To thrive we must get our hands in the dirt.
Go and do likewise.