I Give Up!
“Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. … If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? … What He gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It is common knowledge that ‘God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.’ So let God work his will in you. … Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet” (James 4:1-10, The Message).
“I give up!” I confessed. I don’t know what else to do. So much for my bountiful harvest from which I planned to feed a lot of others. My “dreams” for my garden had the purest of motives. I really wanted to do some good, – make a difference. I followed the directions [kind of]. … I planted them in good soil [kind of]. … I worked very hard to keep the bugs and weeds out [sort of]. … I only wanted the best for my garden. …
At this point, my garden is pretty much “caput!” … My largest watermelon grew to 2 inches in diameter. I only harvested two (2) zucchini from 8 plants with the largest zucchini measuring 5 inches. And my “Beefsteak” tomatoes maxed out at 2 inches in width – and only because two of them grew together! I’m useless as a farmer. The reality finally kicked in! … I’d missed the boat! … Have you ever felt like that? Can you relate?
I put a lot of effort into my garden this year. My generous motives became big dreams for making a difference. I thought I’d done it right. I thought I knew what I was doing. …
The problem was that while I really wanted to have a bountiful harvest, I planted too many seedlings in too small of a space [because I was being cheap]. … The soil was good, but I really didn’t by the “best.” … I did work hard at keeping the pests out, only to discover that I was overly zealous in my efforts and probably “burned” many of my plants. … And while I wanted the best for my garden, I was probably too lazy or cheap to water the plants regularly. … I finally just gave up.
Too often we run off with a plan, having no direction, seeking no help, wanting no rules, and yet expect God to work. We don’t want to listen, but we expect Him to listen. We don’t want to follow His “rules,” but we still expect great results, – we still expect God to do His part.
This part caught my attention from the excerpt above: “What He [God] gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It is common knowledge that ‘God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.’ So let God work His will in you. It’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” God will never force His will on you; but our willingness to surrender to letting Him be the God who He is in our lives will yield results beyond our wildest dreams.
So, I’ll confess: “I Give Up!” … I want God’s best for my life.
Basha Zackavich, Chaplain
Anchor Care and Rehab Center, Palm Bay