Three boys, and they doubled the size of the house too. ‘I don’t deserve this’ Jack says and knows. Jesus tells him that is correct but there is another ledger that says it’s OK . Forgiveness for Jack and Greta’s ‘checkered’ past is a big part of responding to the call of life with Jesus. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator

(to be continued)

But what is the call of life? Now Jack is doing well and still, there is something beckoning him. Peace is evasive. He feels isolated in the crowd. Prosperous but bankrupt in spirit. The bank account said he was prosperous but the personal piece part was not there.

So Jack found himself again, in the family garden, working hard. Sweat is stinging his eyes in the heat. Jack asks, “why am I so consumed with this beautiful creation?” The answer comes swiftly. ‘Pull the weeds Jack. That’s what you are called to do’

There was a garden long ago. It was a place of incredible beauty and there was real prosperity and personal security and peace. All was as it should be and no one could be more fulfilled then in there.

There were no things that were not planted by the Gardener. It was perfect and makes the word prosperity not applicable there. All was as it should be. It’s the oldest and most truthful story of the beginning, within a garden. Just for us. No weeds, just beauty planted with great peace and the best romance story ever.

So Jack is sweating in the heat, getting the weeds out and thinking: ‘what are these weeds to me? Interlopers that need to be dealt with.’ Pull the weeds Jack, pull them out by the roots and gather them up. Take them away to the pile. That voice in Jack’s core. Dig deep and pay attention to what is going on.

So now is the time in the story that makes a clear point. There is no prosperity in money. It is found in a harvest of peace. Jack knows somehow that most of the weeds must be removed with their roots. If the root breaks off, a tool must be used to go deeper and get that root remnant out. The weed will just come back if not done. With the weeds removed, the garden is seen as the real prosperity. Fullness and beauty longed for. Suddenly there is a glimpse and a vision. Jack takes a sharp intake of breath as another vista hoves into view.

There are roots that go deep for all things. The gigantic Chinese Elm in the side lawn must have roots very deep to hold it firm and strong. Jack’s emotional and intellectual mind has weeds in it. Fear, condemnation, and most of all, pride. These things finally seen and known to have deep roots too. We can pull those weeds out for a time but if we don’t pry them out and ensure the roots come out, the weeds grow back strong. That’s what weeds do.

Jack has a special tool that is sharp and shaped to pry weed roots and it takes effort and commitment to use it and use it well. If the root snaps off, the thing that must be done is go deeper and get the root all the way out. It may appear the weed is gone but it will come back, often stronger and larger. There is also a tool that Jack has and he must be reminded that he has it to dig within his spirit. Let the real roots run deep and strong. The planted ones.

The special tool is prayer. Asking confidently and earnestly for help in going deep and removing the root of his weeds that appear again and again. You know how it goes. Be determined and get those roots of pride out for once and all. The root that the Master Gardener has the tool to deal with. Mercy and forgiveness. Let Him go deep within. The garden will burst out in the beauty it was planted for, true prosperity. The promised peace, truth, freedom, love and beauty in the harvest. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator

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