Tulips and Taxes
“...Look at all the beautiful flowers of the field. They don’t work or toil, and yet not even Solomon in all his splendor was robed in beauty like one of these!”
(Matt 6:28-29 TPT)
Chris invited me to spend time yesterday at Gibbs Gardens before a cold snap threatens to arrive. While he worked, I meandered through the garden with the Lord at my side. The garden is expertly crafted with many gentle, tree-lined grass paths that entice you to get away from the crowd and to explore your own way through acres and acres of natural beauty.
My walk today reminded me of Mother's favorite song, "In the Garden." The lyric, "And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own," was loudly heard in my heart as I wandered through this piece of heaven on earth. As the wind stirred the trees and caused the cherry blooms to fall like snow, I heard His whisper to draw near and remember His faithfulness to meet my every need.
I remembered when He called me by name to follow Him, I remembered when He healed my broken heart, I remembered when He provided for my needs time and time again. It's in the remembering that His record becomes irrefutably clear. He is real. He is here now. He is faithful and true.
Then, like an unexpected bolt of lightning in a thunderstorm, I am struck with the thought: "Taxes are due soon." And then, "What if there isn't enough to pay what's owed?" And on top of that, "What if something bad happens, the stock market crashes, or worse yet, calamity strikes and there isn't enough?" And soon the cherry blooms lying on the ground have collected themselves to form a giant rolling snowball that is heading my way. This my friend is the voice of worry. God had slipped behind a tree, I had tuned out His voice, and the Chief Distractor had appeared like a tree-limb camouflaged soldier.
Sneak attack. Caught unaware. Taken by surprise. But not for long. Yes, taxes are due, and yes, stocks are falling, and yes, the clamor of divisiveness can be distracting and disturbing; however, truth be told, we are instructed by our God of Peace to not worry. Instead, Jesus says, "...forsake your worries!" (Matt 6:31 TPT) Forsake, to give up or leave entirely. In other words, do not pay attention to, consider, or give weight to those worries.
Instead, Jesus says we are to "...constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness." (Matt 6:33 TPT). And furthermore He says we are to: "Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” (Matt 6:34 TPT) One day at a time. Today, He is here. Right now.
What?!? How can this be? I'm not supposed to worry about food, water, or clothing? Why? Because they will be provided for me by the God Who Provides? Yes! He said it. It must be true.
But how, Father? When, Father? I see bellies that are empty, bodies that are sickness-ridden, and broken hearts longing for love. And then I was reminded of His answer that He had sent Jesus to bring hope to the poor, healing to the brokenhearted, new eyes to the blind, and to set free those held captive. (Luke 4:18-19 TPT) We would know Him by His work. This is His work, the Kingdom's work, and now our work, my work, isn't it? Yes, yes it is!
In that very moment, beside a stream, I knelt in prayer for you to be whole: that you would know the Savior and choose to be His follower, that you would prosper in all things and in great hope, that all your needs be filled to overflowing, that your broken parts are mended, that you see the fullness of His love and plans for you, and that any constraints that keep you from being fully His are loosed, in Jesus' name.
As I invited the Lord to continue our walk together, He reminded me that He, the Great Pursuer, the Inviter, the One Who Longs to Be Our Desire, does not leave us to walk on our own without Him. He is our Provider. He is our Peace. Prepare the taxes. Enjoy the tulips.
I bless you, dear reader, that you walk with Him in power and purpose and without worry. He is worthy. All is well.
-Susan (of the Wildflowers)
P.S. Enjoy these pics. Come visit! I'd love to walk through the garden with you!