We recently chose to sod our lawn. After a few weeks, the roots of the grasses began to hold the sod pieces in place. One afternoon, while I was sitting on our porch, I started looking closely at the grass. It was a beautiful green and was such a grand change from the mud-laced yard we had lived with for 5 months. After 30 minutes or so, I began to see small and “thin blades” of grass among the mature blades that were present when we laid the sod. Once I started seeing the new blades, more and more new blades came into view. My lawn was growing and becoming strong. The next day I saw the thin blades more and more. Now the old and new had come together to create an enduring strength and beauty.
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” “Cease striving,” “Stop your striving,” and “Be still” are translations of a Hebrew word, which means “to abandon” or “to let go.” The Psalmist reminds the readers that the Lord is in total command in a world rife with conflict; in fact, Famines don’t overwhelm; disease does not threaten Him; war does not defeat His plans and purpose; global politicians don’t threaten His authority. In the end, and there will be an end, God (along with His dear children) will prevail. God wins!
When I first started reading Scripture (Old and New Testament) during my eighteenth year, I was at best a skimmer, meaning that I could not understand much of what I was reading. I just went from chapter to chapter without much making any sense. To be truthful, my lawn was a desert—not even the weeds dared to pierce the surface. Though reading the Bible was difficult to understand, over the years I kept on reading. Gradually, and I mean gradually, passages of Scripture became more understandable. With some help from a few good teachers and good commentaries, the Bible began to open up to me more and more. I started seeing the “thin blades” in the text. At sixty-five years of age, the Bible is the most beautiful lawn upon which I have ever had the privilege to walk. The Holy Spirit rewarded my effort and still is.
God’s lawn is vast; you must decide to spend time looking at it, taking it in, and figuring out its richness, even when it seems strange and overly harsh. You cannot go through life running back and forth over a lawn without understanding how to take care of it. If you do, it will be meaningless to you and, therefore, of little help. But God’s lawn is unique. You don’t feed it; it feeds you. The more you read it, think about it, and read some more, you will reap a whirlwind of knowledge that will instill genuine confidence and peace. No matter what is going on around me or in this troubled and dangerous world, I remain at peace with God and with the knowledge that He is in full control and that His promises will all be revealed in His time, NOT MINE!
If you spend time caring for your lawn, it will bless you over and over again. If you spend time reading the whole of Scripture (Old and New Testament), struggling to overcome the weeds that are threatening your faith, you will know God in ways that too few do. You may not like some of the things you read about Him, but keep reading; in time, you’ll come around to His way of thinking and be able to accept actions that you do not and might not ever fully understand. Nonetheless, He will keep teaching you, and you will be blest with confident and lasting peace. Slow down, be still, stop being overwhelmed, take time to read about the mature blades and stay longer in the text so that you can see the thin blades that will give your lawn, your faith, its depth, and beauty. Or, as the Lord has said, “Cease striving and know that I am God,” or, as we would say today, “Chill, I got this!”