Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Inadequate Gardener

The thing that I told myself shouldn't happen is happening. And it took only a week and a half to get to this point. I am letting myself get behind on things, and from the look of things if I don't step on it and get back into gear I will be in the dust the rest of the term. Things are inconveniently being added to classes here and there (Lewis class now has a 3-5,000 word term paper, Greek now has a research/writing assignment of 3 pages PLUS I just realized it has a quiz every class period), and for some reason reading two Shakespeare plays for recitation is overwhelming.

I am inadequate.

That is to put it simply.

There are other ways to put it: I am tired some nights and unable to make sense of my readings, so it's simply better to go to bed; sometimes I just can't focus because of surroundings or my own distracted mind; Shakespeare is slow reading and that's too much for the end of the week; my computer died on me twice today and interrupted my progress; I have chores and errands to do and they take me away; 3 classes plus thesis is a lot of work.

But most basically, I am imperfect, and temptations to sin often come up like a crop of weeds in the garden - all at once. They often do so when the gardener is already being plagued by other problems that are NOT weeds (irrigation problems, deer disrespecting the fence, potato bugs taking over everything), for instance the previous paragraph. The weeds take advantage of any distraction or difficulty of the gardener, sucking all the juice and all the joy away from what is needing to produce fruit, and wrapping their arms around the plants and stealing the light of the sun that those plants need.

I am really not adequate to take care of this plot of ground myself.

It's a good thing there is a better Husbandman in charge, and that He is able to root out the weeds that threaten to drive me to despair and also to restore the dark green of health to all the rows of things I am attempting to produce. He provides me with the tools to dig out the bad and to tend the good, and lowers Himself to soil His hands for my sake. Not only does He expose the sins to wither and fade and be forgotten completely; He enables me to bring many fruits of living color and glorious goodness out of a place that once seemed so entangled and parched that it should be a haunt for jackals and wild asses.

He restores the years the locusts have eaten, and He restores the hours that all death-fear and sin and darkness of heart have taken.

1Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

7He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

8The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

14For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

Psalm 103