I am convinced that God is using my backyard to teach me a thing or two about my life. When my family and I first moved into our home eight years ago, the backyard was covered with straw to protect the grass seed. It was the beginning of July and very hot. We watered the grass every day for the first two weeks (you should have seen the water bill!) but still ended up with a less than perfect looking yard. Ours was mediocre compared to some others in the neighborhood. I wanted to know, “Why me?”
There is a large hill in my backyard. When it’s time to mow the lawn, this hilly area is the last to get cut. Most of the time unfortunately, my husband would leave it uncut, saying that he would get around to it later. But, as time went on, the grass would grow taller and taller until it was unmanageable. The hill took twice as long to mow because it had been left to grow unchecked.
The most embarrassing parts of the yard for me are the bald spots- areas that are only dirt with no grass. We threw down more grass seeds and watered, but still no grass would grow. Thinking that the dirt was just too compact, I went out with a shovel to break up the earth. To my amazement, the ground was littered with small white rocks. Every time I tried to dig, I kept hitting more rocks. I now have a nice sized pile of the shiny things on the left hand side of the yard. Why hadn’t I noticed those rocks earlier?
The condition of my backyard mirrored the condition of my life. No matter what I did or didn’t do, life was never going to be perfect. This world is not my true home. That would be heaven.
God had much to say to me about the large hill in my backyard. He showed me that there are things in my life that need attention, such as bad habits, but I keep ignoring them because pain might be involved to fix them. I have a tendency to put off dealing with situations until they “grow” out of control. If I had just asked God to deliver me from these tough habits when they were in their infancy, it would still have taken effort, but not as much as it did later on.
The bald spots in my backyard represented the areas of my life that I had not given over to His care. Why hadn’t I trusted the Lord with these things? The reasons are represented by the rocks. There are hurts buried deep in my past that are influencing my present relationship with God. The bald spots remain because I haven’t gotten rid of the underlying issues.
When I returned home after a weekend away, my backyard had been mowed. I stood out there and thanked God for the view. Little by little, the bald spots are being replaced by green grass. The hilly area had been cut very low to retard growth, but the important thing was that it had been mowed along with the rest of the yard.
I have even begun to notice the positives about my yard. The poplar trees are thick and stately, shooting up towards the sky. The grass on the flat land is bright green and soft under my toes. The backyard is no longer a breeding ground for insects but a place for peaceful enjoyment.
My backyard still isn’t perfect and neither is my life. I have gotten rid of some of the “bald spots” in my life. The love of God has been clearing out the “rocks”. I do my best to deal with issues as they develop, but procrastination sneaks in every once in a while. I am glad the Holy Spirit is there to give me the courage to face things head on. I am no longer apprehensive about giving all of myself to the Lord. Change does take time. It’s a lifelong process- for me and my yard!