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Unexpected Toil, But Worthy Work

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

It’s our first spring in the new house…well, the new-to-us-1949-Cape Cod-with-no-dormers-and-yes- I’m-still-struggling-with-the-reality-of-a-small-house house. The projects are endless, but so worth it. As of yesterday, we now have two cherry trees, two plum trees and two peach trees planted. Yep, the mess is going to be crazy; but the beauty and the treats for the years to come – oh my!

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Gal. 5:22-23

Planting that peach tree should have taken about an hour. Its home is next to two plum trees that were uneventfully planted over two weeks ago. But yesterday when my husband’s shovel went in the ground it hit rock, repeatedly. However, directly under those rocks was nice black dirt; a good home for that peach tree once the ground was prepared; a home that would be so worth the effort. So, what should have taken an hour, took closer to three as the rocks and boulders were dug out and moved to another place in the land that needs the fill. Unexpected toil, but worthy work.

I’m so grateful God doesn’t give up when He hits rock in me! You know, the rocky junk He brings up during daily devotional times or during a beautiful worship song; that thing I did yesterday I didn’t see as the sin it was; the check I feel in my spirit and choose to ignore when I leap right over adoration and praise in prayer and go straight to my requests (or should I say, my perceived urgent needs?); that memory I choose to not hold open to the light of God’s truth and promises so He can remove the enemy’s lies and I can move beyond it to experience my Savior’s redemptive power and plan.

Digging those rocks out takes time - time in His presence to let Him do the work and for me to say yes to His work.

But I let those rocks block the new life He desires to give me. Remember, He promises an abundant life (John 10:10). Sometimes all I feel is an abundant schedule! It leaves me tired and hungry. I think I’m hungry for a specific circumstance to change, or a specific circumstance to arrive. But that’s not the truth of the matter. The true need under the hunger is for more fruit - more peace, more goodness, more faithfulness, more gentleness, more kindness, and more self-control. More of what can only come from the Spirit Himself. I’m finding what I’m really hungering for in life is more of the Spirit’s fruit.

I don’t know how long it will take for those trees to give us their treasures, but I do know the harvest will eventually come. Between now and then I pray my life will bear more of His fruit and that I’ll let my rocks be removed.

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6

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