*I wrote this essay in 2013. Praying and planting seeds has become part of my Good Friday ritual since that time. I highly recommend getting out in your garden if possible. God has so many powerful revelations to teach us through His creation.*
Easter Sunday is coming, friends.
But first, we have to live through Good Friday.
The older I become, the more emotional I am on Good Friday. The older I become, the more overwhelmed I am by ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. The older I become, the more significance I find in simple things. Like gardening.
Today, I went out to the garden to plant the first seeds of the season and talk to God (we have our best conversations in the garden). After a bitter, cold spring, the ground finally thawed enough for me to plant peas. It seemed fitting to me that today would be a good day to plant, a good day to bury seeds that appeared to be dead and dormant, but would soon burst forth with new life.
The garden beds were ready and waiting, prepared last fall. After a bit of raking to smooth the soil, I dug shallow furrows and painstakingly began to place the seeds.
And that's when I suddenly found myself with tears streaming down my face, drenching the soil near my hands. Overwhelmed with grief and sorrow.
Each seed I placed in the soil represented my sins. Too many to count. I gave those sins names as I placed them in the furrow. Pride. Hatred. Complacency. Lies. Self-Centeredness. Gossip. Conceit. Bitterness. Unjustified anger. Covetous Thoughts. Vanity. Contempt. Selfishness. Lack of concern for my neighbor.
The list went on and on. I felt broken, dirty, ruined. Despicable.
After all the seeds were place, I began to bury them. With each swipe of my hand, the seeds were covered by the soil, no longer visible... just as Jesus came to earth and sacrificed Himself on the cross so He could cover up all my sins.
My sins. Not just the sins on the whole world. He did it for me. He would have suffered in the same way, even if I was the only human on earth. And He would have done the same thing for you.
This ugly, wrinkled, insignificant, dead-looking seed will grow. It will thrive and grow strong, beyond my wildest dreams. It will produce food that will nourish and bring health to my family.
And it's just the same with my life. Jesus takes my sin, my ugliness, my weakness when I confess those things and hand them over to Him. He covers them up.
He transforms me into someone who is whole and has purpose. Someone who brings hope and healing to the world. He does the same for you, friend. Only He can take something so wretched looking and make it beautiful.
As I knelt in the garden, naming and confessing my sins, Jesus covered up all my sins and I left the garden with a clean heart, a clean mind, a clean soul.... ready to grow and thrive for Him, so that I can nourish and feed the souls and bodies of His children.
I discovered transformation in the garden is not just for plants, but people as well.
Today I shared tears in the garden with my Savior. Tear of grief, tears of regret, tears of shame. Tears that He had to suffer for me. Tears that He had to weep in a garden too...
Sunday is coming. Today is a day to mourn, friends, but in two days my heart will be bursting forth with joy and praise. I hope you'll join me.