If you think about it, it is humorous how God grows plants. Of all things, you must have “good” dirt to grow nutritious, beautiful flowers, trees, and bushes. Very few of us want to get “dirty”, yet dirt sustains our physical life. Allow me to say something seemingly a bit crazy. Dirt is even better when you integrate smelly manure into the soil. Many will exam ingredients intently to analyze the origin of soil making sure manure is part of the package. Gardeners will go to great lengths to purchase soil with organic nutrients stimulating their plants to become beautiful if decorative or nutritious and tasty if edible.
Growing up, I remember when gardeners would go to the nearest farm and shovel up manure to bring back to their garden. This was not fun to the nearest neighbors. That stuff stunk! However, everyone knew that a beautiful garden was on its way because of it.
As human beings, we want everything to be buttoned up, comfortable, and sterile with no surprises, but that is not how you or your children grow and develop character. Dirt and manure to us are the trials that come our way. God places you into trials to mature you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. You may think that your spouse is pure manure 😊 with an odor that is awful… likewise, with an entitled, self-centered teenage child, a know-it-all mother or father-in-law, a bothersome neighbor, or a manipulative business associate. If you are willing to trust God with your troublesome relationships, you will discover that He is frequently using that person to enrich your growth and rid yourself of prideful selfishness. This is not fun! You may be skeptical of what I am saying…“he/she is such a jerk and is totally fool of manure!” You’re correct but that manure often will help you grow.
1 Peter 1:2-4 says something that is totally counterintuitive to us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God uses “trials” as “dirt and manure”…“so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Do not be discouraged. As dejected as you may feel right now, God will never put you through something that He will not walk it out with you. In fact, you will look back and see how you have grown and matured. 1 Corinthians 10:13 speaks to this, “No trial has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tried beyond what you can bear. But when you are tried, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
What smells like manure God often uses to mature…