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  • Renée Coventry

Life Lessons from the Garden: Manure Stinks!

The night before Joshua's graduation party, Walter, my dad, and the boys were busily setting up my two raised garden beds. (Two is plenty for this novice gardener!) My beds were constructed, and it was time to empty the particular soil I had purchased, specifically formulated for raised beds. As they opened the bags, the most horrendous smell emerged! What was it? The smell of manure! YUCK! At that point, I was having severe doubts about my ability to get very close to my new enterprise. Literally, it stunk!

The boys and dad working with the stinky soil - I am far removed!

From what I understand, that's pretty typical. Soil, fertilizer, and manure mix to make a garden bed ready for plants. As bags of soil were dumped into my beds, I recalled Romans 8:28, which states, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Even manure, with its origin and stench, can be worked to bring about something good.

It's easy to complain about the situations and circumstances surrounding our lives. I think we've all heard or used the phrase "That stinks!" multiple times. Yes, it probably does. What has transpired in your life may not have been your fault. It could have been a wrong decision; it may have caused you to question God's ability to create good. Maybe you've sown by creating a place, giving your time and energy to people whose attitudes stink and have seemingly despised all that you've planted in them. God's faithfulness does not change! All it takes is a seed watered by the Word of God to bring forth something not only beautiful but nourishing.

No one is questioning the hurt and suffering you have experienced, but the Apostle Paul tells us earlier in Romans 8:18 that "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." God wants to take the manure of your life and use it to bring about something glorious, but you have to let Him. I know firsthand: the fresher it is, the greater the stink, but nothing significant has ever come of camping in it. Rather, the opposite: disease. So leave your cares at the cross, and allow God to make it beautiful in its time.

Let's Pray:

Father, I have a lot of stench surrounding me right now, but I give it all to You – the hurt, the pain, the frustration. I give it, Holy Spirit, knowing that You will take it and create a testimony that will cause growth in me and others as they see Your transformative work in my life. When the enemy reminds me of the stench, remind me that You are creating something beautiful and good so that You are glorified in me. In Jesus' Name, amen!

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