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Stewards of God’s good work

“Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear my speech. Do those who plow for sowing plow continually?  Do they continually open and harrow their ground? When they have leveled its surface, do they not scatter dill, sow cumin, and plant wheat in rows and barley in tis proper place and spelt as the border?  For they are well instructed:  their God teaches them.”  Isaiah 28:23-26  

As Isaiah teaches, there are different stages to spiritual growth and each one is a necessary part of the whole cycle. You don’t water a plant every day. Instead, you must wait for its cycle of desire to come around again. When you see that it is dry - that it is showing signs of need – then you know it is time to water it once more. Through nature, God teaches us the very same principles that He applies to our lives. In order to encourage growth, God creates both seasons of need and seasons of satisfaction within us.  

As you recall your experience of the past year consider the following:

What particular seasons of growth do you remember?

What were the dry times?

What circumstances occasioned these experiences?

What has grown in you as a result of these dry or abundant times?

What has been pruned as a result of these?

What new or deeper desires do you now have that you didn’t a year ago?

How is your relationship to others different than at this time last year?  

As we grow in faith and attentiveness to the God’s direct hand in our lives, let us consider how we can more fully welcome God’s creativity in the year ahead. How we can keep ourselves open, each hour of the day, to be molded and fashioned according to the Lord’s particular will in us? This, in essence, is the contemplative life and disposition – to be always trusting and submissive to God with regards to who you are, and to who, in God’s good purposes, you are becoming.  

For Reflection and Prayer:

This meditation by Rob Des Cotes, Imago Dei Christian Communities, seems especially appropriate as we move from a very challenging year into the year ahead. As difficult as 2020 was, we know that God continued to be with us, working “His good purposes” in us. The image a garden or the planted field of a farm reminds us of the cycles of growth that include the joy of harvest as well as periods that may feel regressive. As stewards of God’s work within us, how good it is to intentionally bring to mind and identify the variety of graces and movements of God that we’ve experienced in the past year.  Otherwise, we may simply forget God’s faithfulness, as well as the insights of light and hope that he’s placed within us.  

Printed with permission from Imago Dei Christian Communities,