International Ministries

Garden Focus

June 15, 2013 Journal
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I am sitting on our back patio enjoying the garden recently finished (for now).  As I scan the vine covered wall I see an occasional bee searching for  whatever bees search for…realizing I am glad it’s not me.  It is somehow soothing to sit still and watch them fly in and out of the vines.  As I watch this natural wonder happen, I stop my scan on one point and fix my eyes.  Suddenly, the whole wall is moving with bees.  Lots of them.  I was surprised and even more glad I was not their intent.  By keeping my eyes moving and focusing on the occasional one, I was not able to see their true presence.  It was a matter of focus.



I was reflecting on recent experiences in ministry and family. In May the English speaking church, Crossroads, that Joyce and I pastor in La Paz finalized its civil association as a legal non-profit.  We also finished writing and revising our church covenant and by-laws (some may know how long that process takes and how much prayer!).  We gathered to vote to adopt the by-laws and 33 people signed on as charter members of the church.  As this was taking place Ian finished his studies at LeTorneau University and we attended his graduation.   Aaron finished his first year of college.  Joyce and I were approaching the end of our 25th year of marriage.  As that was all happening we were preparing for a memorial service for a brother in Christ.  He had been a brilliant man given to the study and direction of sacred choral music and more significantly, a marriage of 50+ years.  I finished a landscaping project and garden I have been working on for a year.  We learned my mother needed to move out of the house I grew up in and where she has lived in for 51 years.  We finished our first year as a full time program at the theological school.  We ended with more students than with which we began.  A lot of things coming to a finish line of sorts.  And really, there is a lot of victory worthy of celebration and crowning of wreaths, firm hugs, handshakes, and high fives!



Each one of those events is a wonder in itself.  Now that I sit back and look at the wall it is surprising and amazing and humbling and joyful to see not a lot of disconnected activity coming to closings but the hand of our faithful God.  Each movement is an end, a transition, and a beginning in itself.  Stopping my eyes to fix, or focus, on Jesus I am reminded of this…”Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful.”  Hebrews 10:23



It is a promise God has made to each of us.  “I will finish what I have started.”  There’s no room at this wall for surprise just loads of room for awe and amazement and thanksgiving.  I sit here looking at the wall and humbly see an amazing God who continually finishes what he has begun through his sons and daughters.  God knows exactly what each of these finishes is going to begin.  My faith is greater because I stop my eyes long enough to see it.  I hear his voice…”By wisdom a house (life, ministry, marriage, family…) is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge it rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures” (Proverbs 24:3-4). Surrounded by more than a few rare and beautiful treasures, seeing the convincing evidences settle in my heart and mind as knowledge and understanding that we are where God wants us to be, and that we are here because you have seen the wall too and let your eyes fix on Jesus.   Thank you!