I just bought seeds this week for tomatoes-beefsteak tomatoes. They are the big juicy ones. I hope I can successfully start them and get them to a good size before spring arrives so they will be ready to plant and bear much fruit for us! When I do plant them, I will need to pull out last year’s dead tomato plants and prepare the soil, or they will never grow.
Planting and growing things requires work. In my case, it will require destroying last year’s growth so that we have a place for this year’s plants. God does this will nations and peoples too-the “destroy… plant” cycle. In Jeremiah, we see God explaining what his “destroying” and “gardening” plans were. He had plans to plant and grow Israel into a nation that pointed others to Him, and to do that planting, other things needed to be destroyed. To accomplish this he needed to pull down, destroy and overthrow some nations. To be honest, as I was reading this chapter in Jeremiah, I couldn’t help but feel it could have been written about the US. The book of Jeremiah is an indictment on Judah. Part of the destroying was judgment on Judah—to get them to turn away from their sin and to God. I see this happening here too.
I see our nation being “destroyed” in some ways. I see laws being “overthrown”. But what I really see is truth and lies becoming clearer. God’s plan and the world’s plan are becoming more clearly defined. The lines are being drawn, no doubt.
What will the end result be? Growth. I truly believe this. I think Miriam will get a glimpse of this in Costa Rica. People who are going through very difficult times see God’s hand in their lives more clearly in some ways. They are desperate. He truly becomes their only hope. He daily sustains them spiritually and physically. She will be in orphanages-where children have no parents. God will be the only reliable father with them their whole lives. She will visit poor neighborhoods and deliver food-where people literally may be going hungry for days. They will thank God for his provision through the students. Their hearts are “fallow ground” for the seeds of faith to grow in.
Just as God appointed peoples and nations in Jeremiah’s days to serve as his instruments in the “garden”, He still at work in that garden. This week, he has appointed Miriam and her class to help in Costa Rica. In a few weeks, he will be using Rebekah and Rachel in Guatemala. There is a good chance, the way our country is going, others will receive their ‘calling’ to tend the garden here in the US, perhaps Bear, DE in particular. There will be more tearing down and destroying around us, but there will also be building and planting afterwards. You and I will play a part, and as long as we do what God calls us to do, the garden He has planned will bear MUCH fruit in the end!