I took this photo when we returned home after ten days away on holiday. As we opened the front door, tired after a two day drive from British Columbia to our home in Winnipeg, what we wanted was to feel the cool air inside a stone house on our skins. What we were met by was 29 degrees of heat blasting out of the door, hitting us like hot coals. My husband looked at me with a questioning look. “No, I definitely didn’t leave the heating on” replied my determined yet innocent look. As he strode over to the heating controls (every wife’s worst fear!) the reins of my memory suddenly pulled me up pretty hard. Hadn’t it rained for a week before we left and I’d got cold and put the heating on? Maybe? I didn’t have time to ask myself anymore questions. “Why is the heating on?” he asked. Big whoops! Let’s not even think about that heating bill shall we!
There seemed an unspoken truce that we just weren’t going to think or talk about it as we unpacked the truck in the sweltering heat but then something happened that made me let out a little yelp. Rob and the kids came running over to where I was standing in the kitchen & we all just stood there, startled and confused by what we saw. Then we looked at each other and burst out laughing! There, in our sink, growing from the waste disposal, was a tiny little green shoot.
As I wiped the tears from my eyes I began to wonder how it had got there & I suddenly worried that maybe I hadn’t turned the waste disposal on the last time that I used it. Did we have a gross amount of left overs growing new life down the sink?! I apprehensively peered down it with my phone torch and to my delight there was no such thing. It was clean as a whistle! The shoot was in fact coming from right underneath the rubber seal so it had grown down, curled round and then grown upwards towards the warmth. I guess there must have been a nano piece of life still clinging on for dear life in there & the green house effect I created by not turning the heating off allowed this little fella to spring into life.
You COULD view this story as a warning for what not to do when going away on holiday! Or you could just see it as a funny anecdote to put a smile on your face today. Or, alternatively, you could see the beauty and the possibilities of hope in it.
Sometimes our lives feel like they’ve been scraped off a plate and unromantically rammed down the garbage disposal, grinding and crunching as they get crushed up. Sometimes our hope gets washed down the sink like milk that spoilt on a summers afternoon. The light we once lived in feels like that dark black cavernous hole that I had to shine my torch down to check for leftovers. Maybe you feel like leftovers some days.
But guess what? Gods light is WAY bigger and brighter than the torch I have on my phone and whilst I still struggled to see into all the corners of the sink hole even with my torch, His light is enough to reveal every corner of the biggest of black holes. Believe me when I say, His light will come searching for you and no corner will be left in darkness.
Whilst you may feel like things are slipping away, like you are slipping away, and like there is nothing left to keep you holding on, there is that nano piece of your life that has not disappeared down the drain. There is that incy wincy piece of hope clinging on in the most unlikely of places and the warmth of Gods love, that cannot be turned off like the heating switch, will warm you through as your green shoot starts to grow. Maybe you have to go down a little and navigate a bend in the road to get to the warmth, but if you keep your hope pinned on His light you will make it back up out of the garbage disposal where you can bask in the light.
I remember once thinking that my hope had gone. I didn’t believe there was a nano amount of life left for me. I was deep down that waste disposal I’m talking about. I felt so far down it that I decided I wasn’t going to come back. Yet as I made the decision to say goodbye & take life into my own hands, Jesus’ torch shone down into the black hole and showed me that if there was a way in, there was definitely a way out. It was all I could do to just stare at it and keep on staring at it. That light is the reason I am able to sit here today and write this.
My little shoot took its time to make its way back out of the waste disposal but it did eventually get there. It may only have been a small and vulnerable little shoot but by the time it was big enough to peer out, it was able to bask in the warmth of our Saviours love. I was able to meet a man (now my husband) who God used to put me back together. I was able to marvel at the amazing family and friends He had put all around me to protect me and the day I slipped back down that hole again a few months later, as I was penning my goodbye letter, I was able to remember a light and warmth so bright it stopped me in my tracks.
That letter was never finished. Instead God picked up my pen and He wrote a different story. I’m still reading it, still living it and so far it’s pretty good. Today your story is being written and the ending is so much different to what you thought it was. It’s got a twist and a plot that will blow John Grisham out of the water! So today, right now, go and sit down in the light and start to read because I promise you, it’s going to be one heck of an adventure, all about how a tiny little shoot grew into a beautiful garden.