Last night I had the pleasure, seriously the most fun, sharing my love for plants and God with 8 gals. We met at Kindred and sat around a small table, in mismatch chairs, eating homemade caramel corn and got to know one another and create a little reminder of Heaven.
This weekend when I was gathering my supplies for the workshop and going over the process, I asked God, "How are you like a terrarium?" (are you laughing? because I was) And I had an "aha" moment and was quite proud of my analogy. Yes! God, Christianity is just like a terrarium. You protect us. We're in our own little environment. I can't wait to share that with these ladies! WAIT. Oh. Christianity is nothing like a terrarium. At least right now it isn't.
I started to think about an area of faith that I have grown tremendously in but still need A LOT MORE pruning. I grew up in church, was baptized when I was 5, went to a Christian University, taught at a Christian school and this whole time I thought as a Christian that God protected us from the evil of this world. I thought that as Christians he would keep harm from us. And this is where you can insert the eek! emoji, I thought we didn't deserve evil. I thought as Christians we lived in our own terrarium world, untouched by the sin, hate, disease, and destruction of this life. And so when I went through a miscarriage seven years ago I got mad at God because he let me go through such an incredibly hard lonely tragedy.
And now I watch my father in law battle horrible cancer (and he is doing it oh so well and faithfully. It is such a testimony.) And I watch my mother in law, husband, brothers and sisters in law fight this war alongside him with such strength and grace. And I am tempted to be mad at God some more because I think it just isn't fair. These people are such good, loving Christian people. I want us all in a terrarium!
I'm sure you don't have to look far to see something horrible happening. Whether it is on the news, at your school, in your own life and you may be thinking I just can't do this. This isn't fair. This isn't how it is supposed to be. I have HOPE for you.
Jesus says in John 16:33, "I have said these things to you, so you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world."
Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken."
Romans 8:28 says "And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him."
Romans 5:3 says "... but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that sufferings produce perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, HOPE."
I have seen suffering produce hope in my life. And if you are going through a trial I want to see it produce hope in your life. I want you to know you don't have to go through it alone. All you need to do is believe. Believe in Jesus. Tell him how you are feeling. Ask him to help you see as he does. And the promises are there. He will sustain you, you won't be shaken, you will have greater character, he will work it for the good. TAKE HEART. Because this world can't be it. There is a promise of an eternity where we will live like a terrarium, protected from the evil forevermore.
So I was so happy to make these beautiful creations last night. Let them be symbols of hope in our homes of the protection God has offered us and the glorious eternal life to come.
If there is something I can pray for you specifically, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, let's pray together.
Father, thank you for producing hope in us. Oh how we wish the process wasn't so incredibly hard, but we thank you that you will work it all for the good. Help us to cast our cares on you. We believe your promises, but help our unbelief. Help us to remember and expect troubles in this life, but help us to HOPE for the life to come even more, where we will not be touched by any sadness, destruction, disease, & heartbreak. Thank you for taking the death that we deserve and replacing it with an eternal golden terrarium of a life.