As I was growing up in the Greater Cleveland area, I was always delighted by the vast beauty of Lake Erie and the beauty of God’s creation of nature. My Grandmother Sweet had a rustic home with an immense amount of land with a beautiful garden. She led a simple life and had no running water in her home as she used a well and had an outhouse. When I visited her I was astonished with the simple life she lived. She was a solid Christian woman with a deep faith in God. However, the one thing that I was afraid of was going in the outhouse. Many times the outhouse would have bugs in it. Spiders and bees permeated the outhouse and within her garden was a plethora of praying mantis, spiders and flying grasshoppers that I also feared.
I recall a time when a Daddy Longlegger was in the outhouse and I became upset and here comes Grandma Sweet to silence my fear. As she picks up the spider and allowed it crawl up her arm, she told me that God is our creator and that he made everything. Even the bugs, and that bugs had a role to play in the balance of nature. Spiders ate aphids that were on her rosebushes. Praying mantis would devour larva of green worms on her tomato plants and bees would pollinate her flower garden and all of these things in nature where in rhythm with God’s creation of our world.
Grandma Sweet also loved to read the bible. I recall her telling me over and over again the story of creation that was in Genesis. I was amazed with her ability to quote the bible and to hear her read out loud from her King James Bible was fascinating. As she grew older she began to lose her eye sight and moved in with my family and I began to read to her from her precious bible on a daily basis and within my heart more seeds of faith were being planted.
Now I am a Grandmother and as I reflect on these memories, I realized that she was planting seeds of faith in my heart just like she planted the seeds in her garden every year. Her influence in my life led me to have a love of gardening and of the Bible. I now think of God as being our Master Gardener and I am his assistant as I share my faith and love of Jesus with all I meet. It has been a long journey influenced first by my Grandmother and others in my life who also shared their deep faith with me, mentoring and guiding me through the Holy Spirit. I hope and pray that I can be that same model to my precious grandaughter too!
My love of the Bible led me to Guadalupe Bible College and most recently, I have become a certified teacher of the scripture. God called me to a ministry of teaching not only the Bible but to also live the word of God in my daily life. What does God call you to be in his presence? With prayerful discernment I found that I was blessed with the ability to instill God’s word into the hearts of all people that I meet. I became a prayer warrior and began intercessory prayer with other Christians from all over the world. God indeed has blessed me with a gift that I feel compelled to share with others. People often come to me for advice and I have developed the gift of discernment and of knowledge and I inspire to share this gift with others while planting seeds of faith in their lives just like my Grandmother did for me.
When I think about my life I can envision my Grandma Sweet in her favorite lavender dress and her white apron that matched her pure white hair showing me God’s gift of nature and how people like you and I fear bugs and think of them as pests to be avoided. Perhaps you can envision these insects too, as being a metaphor for the trials and tribulations in our lives that we are faced with.
Have you ever had a time when you were met with a trial and wanted to avoid it, to run away from it and forget to let go and let God? We have all been faced with that at some point in our lives. It is during the time of trials and tribulations that God remains in our presence at all times. He will never forsake you for with God all things are possible. Can you picture in your mind that as you go through trials that you become like Christ and carry a cross just like he did? Do you allow yourself to give it completely to God so that He can refine you like pure silver?
As your sister in Christ I hope to plant some seeds for you and to help you become like refined silver despite the hardships that you encounter. I like you, am a child of God who has faced adversity at times and have become filled with fear. Remember the fear of spiders I had? That fear was quelled and within me a seed of faith and hope was planted. What seeds have been planted in your heart?