by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications
Everyone is trying to grow a beautiful flower garden, one shaped according to their dreams. Individual likes and dislikes cause each flower bed to be different: some love roses while others love marigolds.
Along comes a trampler who walks through another's garden crushing what you labored to plant. The trampler moves on never looking back. While the heartless trampler never gives thought to the damage done, the person whose flowers were crushed never forgets.
In time, the trampler's garden gets trampled by another. The trampler is insensitive, never remembering or giving thought to the gardens he or she has trampled.
The laws of God, however, demand repentance and restitution for damage done to another's life. Otherwise, the trampler can never walk with God; after all, the very flowers that were crushed were God's creations.
As the trampler's garden is failing because of the trampling of others, the trampler wonders why. Too often, when reminded of the gardens this person has crushed underfoot, resentment is expressed rather than regret. Haughty self-justification reigns over humble restitution. The result is inevitable: The trampler lives with an ugly garden of his or her own.
Zacchaeus was different.1 He knew that he had trampled on the financial gardens of many. He wanted the best garden God could give him. Thus, when he saw Jesus, he offered to make a fourfold restoration for all the gardens he had trampled. This greatly shrank his financial garden but blossomed into a life of godly beauty rooted in heaven. From that day on a short man walked tall as a trampler turned gardener with divine character.
Give little thought to the crushed flowers in your garden, otherwise you will shrivel in self-pity. Give no thought to revenge. God will see to it that all tramplers will have their gardens trampled. Paul wrote: "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"2
Give much thought, however, to the gardens you may have trampled; after all, we all are guilty of trampling another's flower bed with vile attitudes, harsh words, betrayals, inconsistencies and more. Even ask the Lord to bring them to mind. Go back and offer to do what it takes to restore the garden of another.
Then your garden can flourish with unrestrained blessing from on high.
Immanuel: God is with you!
1See Luke 19
2Romans 12:19 ESV
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Crucified with Christ part #2: Peter
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