You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land.
Have you ever cleared a place for a flower bed? Earlier this year, my husband and I spent days clearing and preparing the beds in front of our home. My mother-in-law even came and spent a whole day helping me get them just right. We chopped down, we ripped out, we cultivated.
You see, the flower beds around our home hadn't been used or cared for for years. So there was a lot of work to do. When we finally had a blank slate of perfection, we set to establishing the new plan. Pavers here, petunias there. We actually transplanted quite a few flowering plants from my mother-in-law's flower beds as well.
As meager as it was, I was quite proud of the finished product. I stood near the end of the driveway to get a better, wider view of the beautiful canvas we created.
But it would have been fruitless, ugly, and pointless if we hadn't begun the journey with preparation.
Here in Psalm 80, the author is metaphorically describing how God saved Israel from Egyptian slavery. He removed them from the hands of their oppressors and re-established them in a land of freedom and abundance.
What grabbed a hold of me was the essence of preparation.
The scripture takes care to mention that "you drove out the nations" and "you cleared the ground for it."
So often I forget that God has already gone before me. He is meticulous to make sure the way has been prepared for me.
That woman that I am supposed to speak to about Jesus? He has been preparing her heart for months to soften to my words.
The larger ministry that is stirring in my heart? Every misconception, joy, and adventure of my marriage has been knitted together to make me pliable enough for the calling.
The teenagers that I will have one day? I can only assume that some of the back talk and attitude that I get from my four year old is preparation for that!
More often than forgetfulness, I am impatient in the task of preparation. I'd rather see the finished product now. I'd rather get on to the good stuff.
Yet, I know that if the foundation isn't well-rooted and established, I will crumble under the weight of good things.
Thank you, Lord for tedious preparation. Thank you for your patience with me.
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