Isaiah 38: 1-6 (NIV)
In her book Fresh Bread, Joyce Rupp writes, “I believe that some dying of seed has to take place before it can give itself to new life, that every heart has its germination time, its dark moment, before the future hallowedness of harvest comes.” (Joyce Rupp, Fresh Bread and other gifts of Spiritual Nourishment Ave Maria Press 2006 p, 74).
Seeds which are planted in the heart of the earth need time to take root and to grow. God tends our hearts with love and the desire that they grow and enlarge to receive more of him. However, we are often too busy or too pre-occupied with our situations and circumstances to actively cooperate with this divine process. Sometimes we may even find ourselves actively opposing this divine process. Yet, because he has promised never to leave us or forsake us, he waits and watches and remains beside us until the moment comes when we cry out to him from our heart, from the depths of our being, for a fresh touch from him. The word of God is active and can cut through all circumstances and barriers to reach those who call out to him. While we know in our minds that God loves us, that his goodness surrounds us, that he never changes, we recognise that there can be times and seasons when we wonder if any growth is occurring in our heart and whether our heart for God is healthy or ailing.
Read Isaiah 38:1-6. These verses record how King Hezekiah, who had endeavoured to walk wholeheartedly with God called out to him when he was approaching death’s door.
Reflect on times in your life when you have faced challenges/circumstances that have encouraged you to seek God more wholeheartedly. What did you learn from them and how have they shaped your subsequent journey of faith?
Given that summer is a season for planting and tending gardens and to continue the theme of seeds and germination that we started with, you may like to plant a seed and nurture it. As you water/feed it and watch it grow, let it remind you that God is tending and changing your heart, and growing the seeds of the kingdom within you, so that you may, in turn, reflect his love and goodness to those around you.