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A Change in the Landscape

“For I know the plans I have for you. . .”  Jeremiah 29:11

In the early morning fog, heavy equipment moves the earth making ready for a new neighborhood.

Huge earth movers circled around and around re-positioning the soil and rocks on the hillside. Water trucks followed wetting the earth for another pass by the big tractors. A surveyor placed stakes to show exactly what the designer had in mind when he drew up the plans for this new neighborhood. Roads had to be constructed, houses built and landscaping planted to create an environment just as he envisioned it would be. But first, the work of moving “mountains” had to be completed.

Life can sometimes resemble a terrain that is less than suitable for habitation. Piles of dirt and rubble are everywhere. Just as we navigate one mound, we find another in the way. Most of the barriers come from the deep pits we dig for ourselves. The more concentrated our digging, the deeper we go, the higher the piles. At some point we realize the predicament we are in. By then the only direction we can see out is straight up.

And up is good. I always picture this point when I finely throw down the shovel and investigate my surroundings, there is God’s face peeking over rim of the hole I created. His lips form into a smile as He sees I’m ready to stop the struggle and allow Him take control.

Now, for the real work. Moving all that dirt around isn’t easy. It may be necessary to bring out the heavy equipment to accomplish the task. The rubble needs to be leveled and the dirt sculpted to provide an environment a little less precarious and much easier to move across. As God cuts and positions things just where He wants them, it might get a little rough. He may even have to go over the same area many times before He has it just as He planned.

But in the long run, it will be worth it. God’s design will turn us into something pretty incredible. When He is finished, our lives will no longer resemble the original landscape. What happens next is even more amazing. The bare ground, caused by all the moving around of dirt, will begin to sprout growth covering it with a freshness of new life. Eventually, the growth will be followed by fruit. And fruit. . . well, that’s something pretty sweet.

Whether we are in the digging stage or the fruit stage, there is one thing we can count on—God has a plan for what the landscape should look like. If we allow it, He will take over and create something beautiful. Life takes on a different look when He’s in charge.

I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel. They will rebuild and occupy ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink their wine, make gardens and eat their produce.

Amos 9:14

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