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Search we tarry there

"And He walks with me, and He talks with me. And He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known."

-Excerpt from In the Garden hymn written by C. Austin Miles (1912).

I garden.

I am no pro, but I know how to grow green beans and peppers for my family to enjoy in late summer. Yet, every year - it never fails - I find myself stooping day after day over my seeded garden bed, anxiously waiting to see a baby sprout. But, I confess, after day 9, I begin to doubt.

Why do I get anxious?

Well, two years ago, I planted seeds, and they never sprouted. I watered and tended to the dirt daily, but I never saw the harvest. I realized later in the season that I had planted the seeds too early, and the cold temperature of the soil did not allow for the seeds to germinate properly. While I learned my lesson* and now plant later in the season, I still become anxious if I don't see sprouts shooting up within the expected timeframe.

While I wait for the evidence of my future harvest, I water the garden. I found this time spent in the garden can sometimes feel foolish. I cannot see if what I planted is even going to produce anything. I can only hope.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 KJV

This year while watering the dirt, I realized that the way I view my garden is similar to how I walk out my faith. This isn't the best news, for I have learned that I walk by sight more than faith. I hope and have faith in things unseen for a time, but when I do not see its manifestation in my timeline, frustration and doubt clouds my mind. I walk away discouraged, and I find that returning to the 'bed filled with dirt' hurts. Even as I water the garden, I wonder if I planted in vain and if I will see a harvest.

But God.

The song lyrics above remind me that waiting is essential to faith. To tarry means to linger with expectation, to abide. What a wonderful, beautiful word! Every time I water my garden, I tarry in its presence, hoping and expecting a harvest, but not knowing what is happening beneath the surface.

Have you spent your days in prayer and expectation but haven't yet seen the manifestation? Has it become harder to tarry in the presence of the LORD because your faith is shaking? I have been there more times than I can count. But every time I feel as if my faith is going to break and I doubt, I see a 'sprout.' The LORD shows Himself faithful and teaches me (again) to trust in Him.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12 NLT

How accurate this Word is!

Encourage yourself in the LORD today. If you have planted your prayers (seed) in the soil of Heaven, be assured that a sprout will soon spring forth. How can I say this so boldly? The Word is truth. "[...] seeds fell on good rich soil that kept producing a good harvest. Some yielded thirty, some sixty, and some even one hundred as much as he planted" (Matthew 13:8 TPT).

While you tarry, 'water' your planting with praise and thanksgiving remembering the faithfulness of the LORD. Soon enough, you will see the dirt begin to shift, and the evidence of your hope spring up from the ground, eventually producing a harvest.

"Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established." Proverbs 16:3 ESV

If your heart feels sick because you have been waiting, pray.

Approach the LORD. He will receive you with open arms. Confess the condition of your heart to Him and allow Him to speak to you. If you find that you have not planted or established your plans properly, learn from it (as I did*). Do not be ashamed; simply repent, plant the seeds, and ask the LORD to redeem the time and bring forth a great harvest. Remember, our faith comes from our LORD. Jesus sustains our faith as He is the Author of it.

Whether you are waiting for your child's return to the LORD or your dreams to become a reality, hold on a little longer. Tarry in the garden of the LORD, water the seeds you have planted with expectant praise, and listen to the voice of the LORD as He reminds you of his faithfulness.

"Those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31 ESV

Many Blessings. Beloved One of the LORD.

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