GOD'S PRACTICAL PLAN
"Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce"
Jeremiah 29; 5 NASB.
I am always amazed as I read God's Word to find how practical it is for our daily lives. God comes down to our "nitty gritty" and leaves us in no doubt as to how He wants us to live.
In Jeremiah 29:5-11 God gives a message through the prophet to the Jews who were taken captive to Babylon. It is a practical message reminding them of His original plan. Remember, this is a message to people living in captivity! They are no longer living in the freedom of their own country, but God doesn't change His plan according to circumstances. God's eternal principles work in every situation.
God gives seven commands...
1. Build houses
"Build houses and live in them" Verse 5. It is God's blessing for us to be settled in a home. God made sure He had the home ready and waiting before He created His female creation. The home is our sanctuary-a solace from the outside world where we make a haven of peace for our husband to return each evening and a place where we can nurture and train our children. God's plan is for children to be raised in the home.
2. Plant gardens
"Plant gardens and eat their produce" Verse 5. You may be thinking that it's nice to hear about gardens but you don't have any room to make a garden where you live. I would encourage you to prepare a small garden, or even grow a few lettuces, herbs or tomatoes in pots on your deck. A little garden is better than no garden at all. Many have forgotten in this modern society in which we live that gardening is part of home-making. The first home was called the GARDEN of Eden and God established the first home as the prototype for all future homes.
God intends us to grow produce to help feed our families. In years gone by this was necessary for survival. If you didn't have a garden, you didn't eat! But I don't think it is much different today. If we want to eat healthy produce, we need to grow it ourselves! Most commercial produce is heavily sprayed with chemicals and a high percentage is genetically modified. Of course, you can purchase organically grown produce from co-ops or a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) but very few can afford to do this.
This is so much part of God's plan that He commanded the Jews to plant gardens even in captivity! Gardens don't just appear! You have to work at them. That's what God told Adam to do in the very beginning. Genesis 2:15 says, "Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it." The Hebrew word "cultivate" is avad and means "to toil, to serve, to make weary, to be fatigued." I've had people say that it's all very well for us to have gardens here in the country as we have plenty of room. Actually, where we live on our hill, there is no suitable soil. We had to purchase our soil to fill our 13 long raised beds.
Evangeline, our daughter, has the most magnificent vegetable garden to feed their large family of 10 children. I have to concede that her garden is now better and much bigger than mine! Her garden didn't suddenly appear either. I am amazed every time I look at this huge garden space knowing that it was hewed out of trees and bramble-a jungle that looked impossible. But Evangeline had a dream which she made happen. It reminds me of my favorite saying, "Things don't just happen: you have to MAKE THEM HAPPEN." They got "stuck in," cut down the trees, dug out the roots and with back-breaking effort broke it up into soil.
It was just this morning that I read to my granddaughter one of Edgar Guest's poems, Results and Roses. Here's an excerpt...
The man who wants a garden fair,
Or small or very big,
With flowers growing here and there,
Must bend his back and dig.
The things are mighty few on earth
That wishes can attain
Whate'er we want of any worth
We've got to work to gain.
Read these Scriptures too: Genesis 1:29; Proverbs 6:6-11; 12:11; 24:27; 27:18; 28:19; 31:16 and 2 Corinthians 9:6.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL, ABOVE RUBIES
"Dear Father, I thank you so much that you show me the way you want me to live. Help me to walk in your ways. Amen."
I'm following the path God has laid out for me.
Many women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week.