I was outside gardening today. In fact, I spend a lot of time outside in the garden. Sometimes I just walk around and look at the plants, sometimes I plant seeds, sometimes I water, sometimes I weed til I am covered in dirt. The last is what I did today (well actually I did a little of each but ended with a LOT of weeding. I am trying to reclaim parts of the yard that have been overtaken by weeds or by plants that grow too well giving no room to anything else. I've mentioned on more than one occasion that being outside in the garden is thereputic - for me at least. There are probably some of you who would rather drink cod liver oil than work in a garden. But not me. I'm a true child of the earth (as my Farmer used to say when we were all covered in dust after planting row upon row of crops on a hot day), and I feel so alive when I am working in the garden.
Today while I was working I remembered something. I was working hard and I remembered how when I was 15 and we were building our house I would be working hard in the garden or playing hard with my brother. When I got hot from the heat of the day plus physical activity I would go to the red garden faucet and pull up on the handle til the cool water flowed out. I would put my mouth under the faucet and drink the sweet fresh water and then let it run all over my face and sometimes the back of my neck if I was especially hot. For some odd reason those moments with cool water just when I was feeling parched and tired was something that stuck with me.
Years later when I was becoming more and more sick I would take walks down the country road, past the farm where my Farmer (although at that time I have no clue of where our casual friendship would go!) worked, past the wild rose secret hollow, to the beach. Then I would walk back - and since walking back was mostly uphill I would huff and puff and be totally wiped out at the end of the walk. I often felt pretty bad pain on these walks especially going uphill - sometimes I had to sit alongside the road to ease the pain. Somehow I felt that walking would make me stronger even though it hurt. When I finally made it up our long dirt road and onto the first hill of our property I would see that old red faucet waiting for me. I would put my face under the faucet and drink the sweet water and let it flow all over my face - splashing it over my arms and neck. At this point I was having continual pain (something that started when I was 18), but when I felt the shock of the cold water against my flushed face it took the pain away for a moment and transported me back to those more carefree days when I was 15 without so much pain. That red faucet kept me going and became my goal. I would get through the pain and be rewarded with the bliss of cool water on my face.
Ultimately, God and heaven should be the Goal that we look to when we are walking through the uphill parts of life. One day all of us who believe and accept Him will be free of pain and we will see the face of God and be with Him forever. He will wipe away all of our tears and make every pain worth it in the end. God is so much more than cool water to a parched mouth. He is Who I desire to live for every day - He is Who I want to love more every moment of my life. Words cannot express how important He is, and how He gives me strength I couldn't have on my own.