When you have a two year old who wakes up like a firework that somebody just lit and doesn’t burn down until bedtime, you have to get a little creative with your daily routine. The normal “play with babies, pretend to cook, read a book, take a nap” kind of routine is just not enough to satisfy. It just so happens that I have one of these extremely energetic versions of a preschooler.
One of the activities that I came up with to occupy her increasing curiosity about the world was to play with an old bag of dried black beans that I had in the cabinet. She loves to use all sizes and shapes of cups, bowls and spoons and make up games with the beans. It can get a little out of control, so it is a game that we have moved outside. A couple of weeks ago, she played with the beans on the front porch before bed one night. The next day I noticed that several of the dried beans had fallen down in the cracks between the wooden slats of the porch and were stuck. I tried to sweep them out but with no luck, so I forgot about them.
Then , today we were out playing on the front porch and I noticed what I thought was a weed growing up between the wooden slats of the porch. This really intrigued me considering that our porch is really an elevated walkway that is easily 20 feet off the ground. On further inspection I realized that the weed was actually one of those dried black beans that had sprouted. When I looked again I noticed that all of the beans that were wedged into the porch were now tiny little plants.
Those little plants fascinated me. They are such a beautiful picture of what God can do in our lives. Even when we have been sitting on the shelf for years, hardened almost to the point of being considered dead, He can use us. All it takes is exposing ourselves to His love and He will open us up for His use again. We just have to be willing and available.
There is nothing that is impossible for God. No one is out of the reach of His love. The only requirement is our willingness to be used by Him. When we love God and desire to be used by Him, He will pour out His love on us. All we have to do is show up and get out of His way. We must put our own agendas aside and just say, “Lord, here I am. Use me.” That is all He needs. He can take it from there.
No matter how long you may have been turned away from God…no matter how hardened you feel like you are…no matter what you have done or said or felt…God is just waiting on you to be available to Him again. Don’t be surprised if you have to go through some discomfort like being jammed down between wooden porch slats and pelted with rain. But when He has broken you open and nourished you, you will begin to grow in Him in a new, powerful way that you could never have done sitting on the shelf. Even though your comfort zone may be on the shelf with all your dried out friends, God wants so much more for you. He wants you to live out in the sunshine and sprout beautiful fruit for Him.