Does it seem odd to consider soil, posture, and marriage in the same breath?
Consider good soil in a garden. How does it get that way? How can a garden produce good fruit? A lazy glance at a garden that looks lush and productive might invite a comment about how good it looks so quickly, but the garden worker knows better. It takes time to get garden soil productive.
My wife (Faylene) and I got home from a honeymoon a couple days ago. I went to the garden to examine what had happened since I picked any available vegetables nine days earlier. I was shocked to find 30 pounds of zucchini, chard that had taken off, and lettuce that was beautiful and full. Part of the zucchini crop is shown in the image; the chard is in the second image. Cucumbers went from 2 inches to a foot; tomatoes were harvestable that were not even close to ready when we left. After dragging the bounty to the house I found myself saying, “All of this in a little over a week?” Almost immediately I sensed a correction from the Spirit of God, because my observation was too limited in time.
I had prepared the soil for years. The spring preparation in 2017 repeated what had been done for several years. I had prepped the soil in the fall and spring, including the weeding, and made sure everything was OK the day before we were married. These things contributed to the seemingly quick bounty I harvested nine days later.
The process developing the garden is similar to what each of us experienced as God worked in our lives when we did not have the foggiest idea we would be married. We remain amazed at the circumstances that God used to bring us together. The time period for the transition from friendship to marriage was seemingly short, beginning in April and ending with our covenant in late June. Was it so short? Faylene and I had been friends for years. We each loved our respective spouses until the Lord took them home. We each kept ourselves “weeded” from things that detracted us from our goal to be of service in the Kingdom. We both had continued being tested and worked by the Holy Spirit to serve Him and love brothers and sisters. We each had purposed to be available as single people to move forward and serve, remaining thankful for our previous spouses but moving on to live and serve as long as we were on this earth. We had both decided to move ahead, even if it was alone.
So, when God made it clear we were to be together after years of friendship, there was a foundation in each of us to move forward together. Our separate postures toward Christ simply became a single posture as a couple. Because we had gone through some testing and weeding in our lives, the soil of our hearts was ready. When He spoke to our hearts to be together, we were surprised but not shocked, excited but not dismayed, and confident with each other because our confidence was in in Him. Even during our short engagement, we exercised hospitality to friends, offered encouragement, and did all of this while keeping ourselves right with each other as friends in Christ. Even now, we are not dismayed with both of our homes up for sale, or the prospect of being in the mission field most of the rest of our lives, or not knowing exactly how all of the circumstances will play out. Faylene is already making friends with my friends in the Philippines. We are both encouraging others. What we were doing separately we now do together, only with more resolve. We are still friends, but now we are married. We are enjoying each other and the prospect of what will occur. In less than two months, we will be with our lovely friends in the Philippines, while still encouraging our friends at home.
The soil was well prepared in our hearts for what seemed to be a “quick” marriage. Just like the garden appears fruitful to a passerby, the gardener knows better. The seed for something new produces well because of what occurred over years of preparation.
We are thankful.