Coming Home to the Garden
I am home in Minnesota, at my parent's tree farm. They manage wildlands to keep them beautiful and productive. They have a huge wild-flower garden. They have a home that I can't describe, so I posted these pictures. This is God's land, and my parents see themselves as His stewards of it.
The driveway to their home is exactly a half-mile in length, and is a well-groomed dirt road. (My dad does a great job of keeping it almost like a paved road through his grading and other maintenance.) That is my home, spiritually. I began walking it in 1999 when I was here for a couple of months while I was pregnant with Noah. It was the place where God taught me to pray in whole new ways.
As I walk it now and pray, my prayers are prayers of praise and thanks for all those answered prayers, and new prayers prayed in new faith based on years of answered prayers. I have learned that I cannot do anything, but God really can do anything. I have learned that He does in response to prayer what He would not do otherwise (to paraphrase John Wesley). I have learned that He has a plan that is glorious and more fulfilling than anything I could imagine to ask Him for, and that, through my prayers, He leads me down that path.
I hear people say "God has 3 answers: "Yes", "No", and "Wait"." And I hear them say "He changes us through prayer, and that is His answer." And I hear many other simplifications of what conversation with God is like, and "how it works."
But . . . guess what?!? He is REAL. He talks with us. He hears us, and responds. He lets us hear Him, and lets us respond. Prayer "works" the same way talking with my husband does. And the point is not getting stuff. The point is talking with the One Who made me and loves me and is in control of everything and sees everything in His Truth.
God does things in response to prayer that He would not do otherwise. And the greatest thing He does is share Himself. And, if He is my friend and I am His, what more could I possibly desire?