Recently, my family and I moved across town into a new home. Our garden home starter house that Christy and I bought 13 years ago when we first got married had become a bit cramped with the addition of two daughters over the years and all the inevitable “stuff” (read: toys and stuffed animals) that come with them.
Our new house looked great in the pictures on Zillow, and one of the things I first noticed about it was the super green grass in the yard. In the months since we have moved in, I noticed that the grass had started to fade a bit and I wanted to make sure to get the yard back to its former glory. That is when I remembered that this particular house had a sprinkler system.
Programming this very simple sprinkler system involved more hours reading a basic instruction manual and watching youtube videos than I would care to admit here, but finally, I had it figured out and everything was set to go at 4 AM the next morning.
I could hardly sleep. Had my hours of work paid off? I set my alarm for 4 AM to find out. Sure enough, right when the clock woke me up, the sprinkler system turned on and my yard began to get the water it so badly needed. Now my yard is healthy and on the scheduled mornings, in the dark, those sprinklers kick on and faithfully provide for my yard what it needs to grow.
Now, most folks would never see the hours of labor that went into making the system work correctly, and they might not even see the sprinklers themselves hard at work, making the yard beautiful. But they see the result. So it is with our prayer lives. Often times, the Lord uses those hours of preparation that can be so frustrating, the late nights and early mornings we spend wrestling with life’s decisions and seeking out God’s Will for us, the hours of faithful prayer that we dedicate ourselves to for others…those are the times when we grow the most in our faith. Yes, we should take times to pray together publicly…yes, we should proudly proclaim the faith that we have…but yes, we should also do as Jesus did and find those times to steal away with our Heavenly Father, just Him and us, to talk to Him and learn from Him. To taste and see that the Lord is good.
Having a healthy yard takes a lot of work. Having a healthy relationship with friends and family is a lot of work. Having a healthy spiritual life, walking closely with Jesus…that can be much harder for us in our crazy fast-paced lives. But when we make a habit of faithfully spending time with God, investing in the relationship, growing healthy in Him…something beautiful sprouts up in our lives that is only producible by the Holy Spirit living in us.
Take the time to spend time with Jesus today and every day. Follow the example of Jesus in Mark 1:35: “Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and slipped out to a solitary place to pray.” Pray for our church, our next Lead Pastor, our families, our friends, and for God’s blessings and favor as we move forward together. Pray that we can draw closer to God than ever before and walk closer with Him each new day.