I love to garden, not only because I adore flowers, but because the act of gardening teaches me so many things about life. Growing plants is much like raising children but there is more; gardening helps me to slow down and put things into perspective.
Recently we had a bit of a crisis in the garden. The spigot I turn on and off to allow water to flow through the hose I use to give my plants life-giving water, broke.
It had not been working for quite some time. In fact, it had been leaking quite a lot for years. My husband and I went to the hardware store and purchased a new spigot some years ago. However, when we got it home, we realized that we would need to actually cut a hole in the wall of the house and cut the pipe, the one the spigot was attached to, in order to make the switch from the old, leaky spigot to the new one.
Believing that the repair was too hard for our limited skills and not having the money to pay a plumber, we chose to ignore the problem.
Soon, the leaking became worse. When I turned it on, the spigot would spray water in all directions. My way of dealing with this was to fit a bucket up under the spigot, held in place by the air conditioning unit just below, and to use the water that accumulated in the bucket to water the larger plants in my garden. I chose to use this system for a number of years, in spite of the fact that it was heavy and burdensome which caused pain in my shoulders and elbows.
Then, one day last week, the problem became a crisis and could no longer be ignored. The spigot broke so that it could not be turned off and water sprayed all over the yard at great speed. We had no choice but to cut off the water supply to our house and make a trip to the hardware store. In the end, we were faced with the same choice; buy a new spigot, make a hole in the wall and cut the pipe so the new spigot could be properly attached. Since this is not our area of expertise, it took a great deal of effort on our part including hours spent without water to our house, to achieve this repair, but we did it!
After it was all done and I was enjoying watering my garden without needing to heave that heavy, water-filled bucket around the yard, I chided myself for not making the repair earlier. How could I have not done what needed to be done so long ago? It took a full-blown crisis before we were willing—forced—to address the problem. In the end, we were able to do it—it was only our fear that got in our way in the past.
I reflected on how often our choices in life are dictated by fear. How often do we refrain from doing something because we are afraid we will fail or that it will be too hard or that our efforts will all be in vain?
Sin is like a heavy bucket filled with water, water we do NOT need to carry around. Repair is like repentance, something we are often afraid to attempt because it might be hard or too much will be asked of us—or we fear that it will avail us not.
In the New Testament of the Bible, 2 Peter 3:9, we read: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Knowing that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, wants us to repent, how can we fail?