Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

If you look at the lower right hand corner of this photo, you will see the tractor that has been methodically traversing this barren field across from our home for 5 days. We wake daily to the sound of it’s engine early in the morning, and observe the cloud of dust surrounding it’s implement, breaking up the earth’s crust in it’s wake until quitting time.

What has me stumped, is the need for so many trips across, back and forth, side to side, diagonally, back and forth, over and over?

Well I looked it up on and after sifting through pages of instructions on farming, I learned about “harrowing” which, after plowing, breaks the ground into dime-sized pieces that will allow the tiny seeds to push up their tender shoots unimpeded, simultaneously allowing water to evenly soak into the earth. Harrowing takes numerous treks across the field in order to refine the soil.

So why am I suddenly interested in this familiar activity now, after watching this same scenario for almost 14 years?

Well, for the first time in these 14 years, that large field across from me has lain fallow for awhile. The routine was interrupted. Instead of the plowing, harrowing, rowing and planting of cilantro or parsley, cabbage or bok-choy, we have had weeds and dirt out our front windows, with the accompanying invasion of more dust than usual inside our home. Usually, the first thing I see through my windows when I walk out of my upstairs bedroom is the lush plants that seem to pop up over night after the tractors do their work. No such loveliness for months!

This brings me to the point of my post. When I am engaged in my Fourth-step inventory (part of ongoing 12-step recovery work) I experience it as a breaking up of fallow ground. The methodical plowing up, turning over and harrowing work of inventory can take a miserably long time, each time. When I work this step thoroughly, I often ask myself the same question – “why is it necessary to go over all this ground again and again?” To be rigorously honest, it is sometimes a tiresome process. Each time, however, I am reminded of a precious Bible promise in Hosea 10:12, “Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.” I dare not let the ground lay fallow for too long.

Recovery is not about rehashing the past to blame, justify my actions or defend myself. It is about seeking God and allowing the seeds of His righteousness to have a soft and fertile field in which to grow and bear the fruit of His Spirit in me so that others may taste and see that the Lord is good.

It takes many passes over the fallow ground of my heart in order to accomplish the rich environment for a good harvest, especially if I have let the ground of my heart harden. But I can trust my Heavenly Gardener to break up the fallow ground enough to finish the work He has begun in me.

I have learned over the last 20 years of recovery that this breaking is always painful, always longer than I anticipate but always for my good. (Romans 8:28)


A Letter from Abba

I wrote the following paraphrase of Philippians 1-4 as a letter from my Father in Heaven during my ‘Great Depression’ of 2001-2004. I offer it to anyone who needs to hear from God today. Go ahead and put your name in the space provided…
Dear Child of Mine,
Grace and peace be yours, my __________. I am thankful for all my memories of you, happy as I remember your full part in the work of the Gospel. Know that I will bring your generosity to perfection as you look forward to my arrival.
It is only natural that I have such high hopes for you – you are so close to my heart. I have such tender feelings for you, and I desire that your love will grow richer and richer in truth, knowledge and depth of perception; then you will learn to prize what is of value so that nothing will cloud your conscience or hinder your progress until the day when I come for you. My glory and praise is your full harvest of justification!

Only, you must play a worthy part of my Gospel – that you keep standing firm in a common unity of spirit, with the faith of the Gospel for your cause. Show a bold front at all points to your adversaries. It is God’s grace that has been granted to you to suffer for my sake, not just to believe in Me.
As you strive toward becoming more like Me, what shows is humility, unity, honoring others and obedience. So work to keep this attitude active.

Put yourself in an environment to enable the will to do it. Do so, and the accomplishment will come from Me as you carry out my purpose in love.

Do all that lies in your special calling, never complaining, never hesitating to show yourself innocent and single minded; bringing no reproach on My Name. The world is twisted – so you will stand out with the true light of truth – and it will cost you! But I will give you companions who are like-minded to add joy to the journey.

So take joy in My love for you and in the intimacy of our relationship, justification from faith and the hope of resurrection and heaven’s home. Don’t forget – I am forming you to be Christlike, and on that day, even your body will be glorious, like mine!

Oh my dear _______ you are so greatly loved and longed for, you are my delight and prize – take your stand in my love. There is nothing worthy of your anxiety, for every need will be supplied as you pray and give thanks. And I will extend peace that surpasses logic to watch over your heart. Only seek an environment of peace by living in the truth. Set your mind to reverence what is noble, pure, lovely, gracious, worthy of merit and value to God. Let this be the delight of your thoughts. Then My peace is guaranteed and the spirit of my grace will be yours!

Love, Abba

O that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my capacity to receive and release your love. Oh that your hand would hold me tight and keep me from evil that I may not cause harm to Your work of redemption in the world.
I Chronicles 4:10