On my way outside to retrieve my phone from my car (I stash it there on dancing nights), I pass the just-opening, prolific, floribunda roses climbing up my porch posts. I love the profusion of colour! There wasn’t much of a garden when I bought the house, but this old faithful is a gem!
Making my way back up the walk, I can’t help but notice other plants — the shoots emerging between the paving stones, the “wild flowers” (aka weeds) towering between the carpet blue spruce branches, and a dandelion in the walk that is just about to flower. How did that emerge overnight? I know my problems will be multiplied if I let it go to seed, so, I tug on the root gingerly, without the aid of my handy weeder. Whump! A 5 mm-diameter root emerges, almost 15 cm long, with a very satisfying sound!
I haven’t seen the weeder since last year. I missed it sorely on my first day tending the herb garden this year. I resolved that today would be the day I replace it, although it’s probably just under the ivy (but which clump)?
Root in hand, I proceed up the porch steps and check the mailbox. I keep my tools in the cubbyhole beneath it for dandelion emergencies all summer. Without hope, I check the cubbyhole again – nope, that’s just the trowel – and see a second blue handle out of the corner of my eye. Aha! My weeder! It’s been under the euonymous all along! How did I miss it when I traced the misplaced vine under it last weekend, seeking its root?
Isn’t that the way it is with God? You seek, and seek, and seek, knowing that what you want is close at hand, but you can never grasp it. That high, that job, that relationship — you’ve experienced it briefly, and you want to grab onto it with both hands, and put it in your cubbyhole. But it eludes you – maybe with periodic flashes of blue, maybe with deafening silence, maybe after years of prayer.
Just when you give it up, and accept that it isn’t to be found, the elusive item falls right into your lap. Ta-da! No effort. No prayers. No nights of longing. Just voilà!
“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:19 (NIV)