The Invitation: My brother, the gardener, visited last weekend. He has a greenhouse, raised garden beds—and the green thumb in the family. It’s early spring, and he’s watering the seeds he planted in his greenhouse, waiting until they’ve matured enough to move to the beds. The greenhouse seeds take a lot of care. If he ignores them, it’s back to square one and starting over.
This thought came to mind as I asked the Lord why it seems I’m continually starting over in changing certain thought patterns. How does worry creep in—again—when my desire is to trust God? Perhaps fear becomes larger than faith, or I step into the fixing mode instead of waiting on God. It’s different for all of us.
At first, it takes a lot of nurture to change thought patterns. Daily practice. Then the transformation takes root, and the maintenance is occasional. Just as I marvel at the new blossoms of spring, I marvel when I realize the new way of thinking has become the regular way of thinking. I reap the fruit of nurture.
My brother can’t put a seed in a seedling pot and hope it will grow, and I can’t grow a new way of thinking on hope alone. I must nurture it with prayer, practice, and perseverance. Are you willing to nurture one new thought pattern this spring? If so, perhaps this summer you’ll realize a new way of thinking has become your regular way of thinking—and marvel.
But the seed in the good soil,
these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and virtuous heart,
and hold it firmly, and produce fruit with perseverance.
—Luke 8:15 (NASV)
Try it out: Lord, Your ways of thinking are what I want to hold firmly in my mind. I ask You to weed out any mindsets that don’t line up with Your Word and plant new seeds of truth. Then show me how to nurture the truth with perseverance through prayer and practice.
Lord, if I have a pattern of thinking that needs to be replaced with Your way of thinking, reveal it to me.
(Any thought that is tied to “things will never change,” “I’m not enough,” “God has forgotten me,” etc. are like weeds that need to be pulled. Take time to listen.)
Lord, what do You replace that thought with? What is the truth as seen in the Bible?
Show me what it looks like to weed out the old pattern of thinking and plant a new seed?
Then show me how to nurture the seed so it will grow and become my regular way of thinking.
Now, tell me why it is important to persevere in this place, and what will grow from nurturing this new way of thinking.
But the seed in the good earth—
these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what,
sticking with it until there’s a harvest.
—Luke 8:15 (The Message paraphrase)