Pushing and Pulling God
August 26, 2021
Last evening I laughed as I watched a neighbor chase a deer from his garden. Clapping his hands, he ran into the woods after the doe. And I wondered if I ever chase God away from my garden.
You see, deer, to me, represent God. Although I only see them periodically, I know they live in the woods surrounding my home. That's how it is with God. I may not always SEE God's Hand, but I know He's there, surrounding me.
So what about the deer that eats the leaves of my and my neighbor's tomato plants? How does IT represent God? A good God would not allow something I hold dear to be taken from me. Or would He?
When these hungry animals eat the tops of my plants (they don't seem to bother the fruit), I will consider it a type of pruning. And pruning is good. It's usually done in the springtime. And most plants flourish after being trimmed (not yet sure about my tomatoes).
So I will consider that God may allow some of my favorite things to be taken—to help me grow.
I recently was upset over a hair salon visit gone wrong. I cried. I worried my hair would never recover. I called my friend Kim and asked her to pray with me. She read to me a poem by Ruth Bell Graham that reminded me to trust God. And that's what I plan to do. I'm growing.
Even though my growth may at times be stunted, I PLAN to trust God on the good hair days and the bad hair days. The healthy days and the sick days. I'll trust Him to use every downturn in life to draw me closer.
As I look back over the years, I can see how God HAS drawn me closer even during times I felt He was far away and didn't care. Every painful experience is but a tool in God's Hand that He uses to build a sturdy foundation of faith.
So do I ever chase God away? Well, I chase Him if I accuse Him of deserting me. I clap my hands and He runs if I give up on faith—stop going to church, stop reading my Bible, stop praying.
But I invite God to draw close to me if I read an inspirational book, talk to another Christian (as I did on my bad hair day) or kneel at His feet. I invite God to stay if I just sit before Him and let Him wipe my tears. After all, God is compassionate. He walks with me whether or not I realize He is near.
And like the deer will return to my neighbor's yard, so God will draw closer to me. Or, I should say, I will draw closer to God. He's never left my side.
So I plant those tomatoes. I go about the business of living that will include good times and bad times. I trust God that those plants will grow and blossom and produce fruit. But if not . . . like Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations . . . I will trust God "even if the fig tree does not blossom" and the deer dine on my tomato plants. I know He holds my best interest close to His heart.
Please comment about a time you felt far from God but He actually drew you closer to His side.