Digging deeper

We encourage the wildlife in our garden. Bird and bat boxes are up on trees and poles. Plants have been selected for their benefits to butterflies and bees. Nuts and fat balls are displayed for our feathered friends to enjoy. What’s next?  What’s next is the need to dig deeper.

All our current wildlife offerings are primarily aboveground. But Penny wants a wildlife pond. Newts, frogs (to eat the slugs), insects, a place for a hedgehog to take a drink, damselflies, dragonflies and much more will be attracted into our garden. What do we need to do? Dig. Dig deeper.

I spent all Saturday afternoon and all Wednesday afternoon digging. Saturday was about removing the turf. Wednesday was about beginning the serious digging. The photograph above shows you what I had achieved partway through the afternoon. I spent five hours digging on Wednesday. This is the result…

It doesn’t look like much. That’s five hours of work! My elbows, knees, lower back, shoulders, well, and everything else in my body aches and tells me I spent five hours digging. But my eyes tell me it’s unimpressive. That’s the problem with digging. You don’t get the visible results that the physical effort merits.

Isn’t that rather like the spiritual life? We expend significant time and energy and emotional investment digging, digging and digging into God’s word and prayer and spiritual disciplines hoping for massive impressive visible breakthroughs. Yet we forget that God works patiently and with his appropriate timing to develop us step-by-step more and more into the likeness of his Son.

As I continue to dig this Saturday and probably for several Saturdays hence, I need to remind myself of the vision. A completed pond teeming with wildlife. That will keep me digging even when I don’t see significant visible results. Similarly, if I keep my eyes on Jesus, I will not be discouraged or disheartened when the transformation into his likeness takes longer than I would like. 

I offer my recordings this week in the hope that they will keep you focused on Jesus, and motivated in digging deeper in your spiritual life. 

The podcast summary contains a reminder of what’s been posted on my site this week. I.e. the usual TTT, SS & QTC. To watch/listen to any posts, just head over the the website.

Prayer request

In 2003 I took my first personal spiritual retreat (more on that in this coming week’s quiet time coaching podcast). A three-day time away with God which changed my life.  Since then I’ve taken a few more, and contemplated leading a group retreat. I think the time has come.

In the first part of next year I am planning to offer a spiritual retreat for a small group of people. I’m investigating venues and planning the schedule. Please pray for the success of this venture, if it is in line with the Spirit’s will for my life.  If you think you’d be interested to attend, please drop me a line: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

Thank you for reading this far, and encouraging me in my endeavours to support our times of quiet with God, our corporate worship experiences, and the effectiveness of our preaching and teaching.

If you know anyone who might enjoy these materials, please send them a link to my website and encourage them to sign up for this newsletter.

God bless, Malcolm