Scripture loves to use the metaphor of a vineyard to talk about God’s people. In various places throughout the Torah, the Psalms, and the Prophets, God is described as caring for his people as a gardener would: 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. The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. Its branches reached as far as the Sea, its shoots as far as the River. (Ps 80:8-11) God’s people use this imagery, too, speaking back to God their frustration with how the vineyard is being “cared for”, in lament. Why have you broken down its walls so that all who pass by pick its grapes? Boars from the forest ravage it, and insects from the fields feed on it. Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself. (Ps 80:12-15) Do you ever feel like this psalmist, with the things that are (or “should be”) green and growing in your life? Like maybe God isn’t doing the best job at “watching over” the thing God planted? Of course you *know* God knows what God’s doing, but something in you feels like its wilting at the lack of water, or being consumed by the lack of protection, or…? It’s worth noticing these feelings, whatever we *know* to be true. It’s worth lamenting when vegetation that seemed so carefully planted is now languishing in some way. What are the situations that are coming to mind with this imagery, for you, today (vocation? relationship?)? Spend some time there today, telling God exactly what you are feeling about the state of the garden in you. Let your honest feelings come—because they are a piece of your reality, and it is only in reality that God can be with you (not some fantasy of how the garden WILL look, or how you pretend it looks now). Tell God your desires. Listen.

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2023-04-27 14:07:46 UTC