The Hidden Garden

An acquaintance of my 10-year-old grandson stole $20 out of Izac’s bedroom while stopping there after school.  Another boy with them later felt guilty enough to persuade the thief to return the money.  As time progressed, the boy who had stolen the money began to bully the other friend into doing more dishonest and unethical things.  Finally, parents stepped in to stop the abuse, but there has been no remorse from the instigator.  I find it sobering how a heart that will manipulate others to get what they want is so developed at such a young age.

Prov. 11:1 (NLT) God detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.  Most would agree with this simple, but just, proverb.  Later He again inspired Solomon to repeat that concept in Proverbs 20:10 (NLT) False weights and unequal measures— the LORD detests double standards of every kind. Why would God hate dishonest scales when they cannot affect Him?  Or do they in ways I haven’t yet seen?  I found a clue in Hosea 12:7 (NLT) …the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales— they love to cheat.  Is there any correlation between my grandson’s friend’s stealing and a person who uses dishonest scales?  Yes!  Both involve a person taking their own initiative to reach out and grasp what they want instead of trusting God’s wisdom and generosity.

Therein lies the glitch!!  Since God clearly wants us to love and trust Him to provide wisdom or any other provision for us, He takes offense when we presumptuously take things into our own hands to satisfy our desires without seeking His guidance and waiting on His provisions.  So, in God’s eyes, resorting to dishonest scales is an affront to His authority.

I remembered the movie “The Secret Garden” where a 10-year-old finds the hidden passage into a secret garden buried in the undergrowth.  Could it be that buried beneath God’s hatred of dishonest scales is the hidden passage way into God’s secret garden of His fullness of joy?  Wow!  If so, it would be found in a juxtaposition to what dishonest scales represent. This would at least suggest the ‘hidden passage way’ into God’s garden of joy, significance, confidence is learning to submit to God’s wisdom and timing then wait patiently on Him.

What humanly contrived devices have you and I been seduced to attempt to use in order to attain ‘success’ when God doesn’t seem to be giving us what we want when we want it?  Do we seek better leadership skills, faddish looks, greater positional power or other human means in order to attract the attention of the world we want?  It is not that any of these are necessarily inherently wrong in themselves because God gave men in the Bible such things.  However, they become wrong when we seek them instead of seeking to hear God’s whisper and wait patiently on Him to provide.  This is thought provoking!

Sorry to say, I have resorted to using some form of manipulation (bullying) to get what I wanted.  I’ve since observed that if I find myself trying to force something to happen, more often than not I am disappointed with the results.  On the other hand, the more I trust and wait on God to provide what is best for me, the greater joy, significance, fulfillment of life I have.  I realize with fresh clarity the truth of Jesus’ words Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first his kingdom [sovereign rule] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.