Like much of the nation (judging by the queues in B&Q the day before lock-down!), we’ve been spending a lot of time in our garden lately. A combination of good weather and having no place to go means that our garden is finally getting the seeing-to it needs! And so, the other day, whilst my husband was thoroughly “enjoying” doing business with some overgrown trees and bushes, I set to work on some weeds.
Whilst digging, I started thinking about whether there was any point to what I was doing; do I really need to get rid of all these little weeds or should I move on to the bigger plants that need taking out? The task in hand seemed rather insignificant. It occurred to me that over these next few weeks of confinement, day-to-day life might feel rather insignificant. But then I remembered another time in my life when God spoke to me about digging and preparing the land – last summer when he spoke about the season we had been in as a Church (the season of digging deep wells – you might remember David Devenish’s word about that many years ago from Psalm 84) and the season we’re moving into: a season in which he was preparing the ground ready to plant. At the time I felt that “the land” referred to our hearts; that God was getting us ready as a Church because he was about to do some planting! I wonder if the season we now find ourselves in will be a part of that preparation.
Rather than seeing this time as insignificant, and just trying to muddle through it, I began to wonder if maybe God was prompting me to see this as a time of preparation, and challenging me to consider what bringing in his kingdom looks like. I once heard Carol Wilthew from Kings Arms Church in Bedford speak on the role of prayer in Evangelism. She likened prayer to sending in the air troops, taking spiritual ground before the land troops march in to take physical ground. As a person who enjoys “doing stuff,” I was challenged by this – I don’t want to just rush in without having sent the air troops in first! And now I find myself considering it again. What if in this season we really learn how to “pray in the Spirit at all times” (Ephesians 6:18)? What if we really learn to pray, “Your Kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10)? I wonder if we’ll see that bringing his Kingdom isn’t all about the big moments, but what happens every day in our hearts as we dig in to him.
Let’s send in the air troops!