Around the town where we live there are large areas of wasteland. When we first moved to Cumbernauld, the roadsides were filled with daffodils each Spring. It was a cheery sight coming home from work each night to see the yellow heads bobbing about. The council decided to replace them with plastic, yellow waves! It cost millions. In my view, the gardens became a wasteland; the general population of Cumbernauld has not forgiven the council yet! It was a poor move.
Sometimes, we make the wrong choices. We look back on life and regret the decisions we have made. We look back on what feels like wasted years. The truth is, none of us have gotten it all right. We have all made poor choices, just like the councilman, whoever he is.
We know our Father in Heaven can take our wasted years and make them fruitful for Himself. He can use the years that were wasted to teach us lessons, giving us wisdom and insight into painful situations so we can help others. Without these seemingly wasted years, there would be no garden of the Lord.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT
Before creating a garden, you have to cultivate the soil. You have to dig it over, break up the soil, weed, fertilise, hoe and level it out until it is ready for planting. Only then can you sow your seeds, plant your shrubs and watch the miracle of nature. The past years that seem wasted to you have not been wasted to God. He has been digging over the soil, weeding, fertilising, hoeing and levelling out your life. It’s not pleasant, but you will have learned valuable lessons during that time. It might be not to treat someone the way you were treated. It might be not to bow down to another but to be strong and independent. What you have learned will help you develop into the person God wants you to be.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT
So even when you don’t know or understand what God is doing, rest in Him. No one can see the whole picture, but we can trust Him. Remember, He has plans “for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
One day, your wastelands will be like the garden of the Lord, for He will have planted eternity in your heart.