I surely rejoice in the Lord;
my heart is joyful because of my God,
because he has clothed me with clothes of victory,
wrapped me in a robe of righteousness
like a bridegroom in a priestly crown,
and like a bride adorned in jewelry.
As the earth puts out its growth,
and as a garden grows its seeds,
so the Lord God will grow righteousness and praise before all the nations.
Today I visited a part of town where people live in housing that most of us would not find acceptable. One of our church’s elders and I were looking for a place to deliver food to children in need during the Christmas break from school. We came across an older man, working in his small, dusty yard. I greeted him in English and Spanish and he responded in Spanish so we went from there. I asked him if he knew of any children who might be in need. He said yes, he knew 6 or 7 small kids. Then I noticed his dusty field was actually a garden. It was full of ripe chili peppers!
I asked about the garden and he lit up. He told me to wait there and he went around a corner. He returned with a basket of probably 250 harvested chili peppers! The red was brilliantly shining. I never would have imagined that flat, dry field would produce something so glorious. The gardener was beaming with a grin from ear to ear in response to my surprise.
I think I might be ready to believe that God could grow righteousness and praise before all the nations. If I think of that field, I am able to pray for peace as though it weren’t a crazy prayer. How about you? Would you like to come with me to see this field?