Happy Easter to you!
It's bank holiday Monday here in the UK and so Zoe, my beautiful wife, and I decided that it would be a great opportunity to get into that great British past-time; the garden! We moved into our house December 2004 shortly after getting married, and at first it was all about the interior decorating – really it wasn't until last Autumn that we decided to make a go of the garden. Now I have a confession to make (my parents may be shocked to read on) but I am NOT a keen gardener. I like gardens don't get me wrong. But I like other peoples gardens or I like grassy areas where I can lie in the sun or play football or something….NOT the actual gardening. But I love my wife and so I thought to myself "yep, need to get on with that so out we go…."
Before I say anymore I should point out that I have since come in and am writing this blog whilst Zoe remains steadfast in her gardening zeal and is still outside – wonder woman!The fact that I'm typing instead of gardening may give you some indication as to where this blog is going haha.
One of my favourite verses in all of scripture is Luke 6:45 – "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks". I believe that to be 100% true 100% of the time – whatever is in you will come out of you. That's why we need to be so very careful to make sure we deal with everything that is in us that shouldn't be – attitudes, character flaws, hatred, loathing, bad tempers, sayings, inappropriate jokes….it can be quite a long list. It's very easy to wear a mask so that no one else will see what lies deep within us untouched by the finger of God but a time will surely come when that which we have tried to hide away will surface. Garbage in, garbage out – that's another post in itself but suffice to say that we must be more and more careful as to what we are putting into ourselves.
The encouragement from of all of that is that the only microscope that we need to put our lives under is the one labelled 'belonging to the Holy Spirit' because He will, if we let him, leave no stone in our lives unturned and He will put his finger on everything that needs to go – let Him.
So anyway, I was gardening. Zoe has the gardening vision and passion. She knows what she wants and where things need to go. She knows colours, she knows seeds and timings. I, know nothing. I see myself as more of a financial backer to the gardening project but on this occasion I thought I would just get out there and help Zoe clearing some debris and rubbish away to make her life easier. And so I did. I got on with it. I did it and I did it well ( I think). But…it wasn't the most favourite thing that I thought I could be doing but as far as I was concerned that was between me, myself and I – no one needed to know and I was going to finish what I started because I said I would.
And then we took a break and Zoe suddenly said that I could stop if I wanted to. I didn't know what she meant – I was getting on with it and hadn't said a word…or so I thought. So I asked Zoe what she meant and she said that I had been whining(she said it very graciously with a big smile on her face 🙂 haha) and that she knew I didn't want to be gardening anymore. I couldn't believe it, I was certain I hadn't said a word. But I was wrong.
It would seem that when I wasn't thinking about keeping silent and trying my hardest not to mope that my mouth was betraying me! And there and then one of my favourite verses – Luke 6:45 – came back to hit me in the face. The moaning and grumbling in my heart about what I was doing started coming out of my mouth – and I wasn't even aware I was doing it! But Zoe heard it all whilst we were out there, even different parts of the garden, she heard me complaining about bugs, sludge, muck accompanied by a whole lot of sighing.
Thankfully we were only gardening and the Holy Spirit quickened in me a lesson that I will take and learn from. I want to encourage you to do the same, to examine your own heart and make sure that there is no garbage that can come out. Instead let our hearts be filled with praise, good cheer and nothing but words of encouragement and edification that no matter where we are or what we are doing, that from the overflow of our hearts, our mouths will speak only good things!
Right, I'm off to make my wife a drink, to tell her that I love her and to tell her that she is doing a great job in the garden! 🙂