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You don’t know what you don’t know
Amber Albee Swenson
by Amber Albee Swenson
July 27, 2020

My almost 18-year-old son is working with a contractor for the summer, mostly landscaping. When he asked if I wanted to make the front yard have a little more curb appeal, I jumped at the opportunity.

I’d love to say my husband and I trusted him completely, but that wasn’t exactly how it went. His idea was to dig up all my mature plants and put in edging, weed barrier, and rock. I was thinking more along the edging-only route . . . until he took my husband and me for a car ride.

He stopped at the houses with professional landscaping and pointed out the manicured look. He showed us where weed barrier failed or wasn’t installed properly.

Until that car ride, I didn’t realize how out of sorts 90 percent of yards look, mine included. Plants are placed in a hodgepodge of ways and overgrown. What once might have looked good is broken down, unsettled from harsh winters, and in need of rejuvenation.

What if the same is true of our faith lives? What if we are missing out on all God would give us because we don’t know crucial information? What if we are guessing and adding things we weren’t meant to add to our lives, while neglecting crucial ideas? Too many of us are content enough with weedy hearts and unkempt souls.

But God wants so much more for us! Listen to Psalm 81:11-16: “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

What would take our souls from hodgepodge and disorder to manicured and well-kept?

  1. Read and study the Word! God tells us exactly how he feels. He tells us what he loves and what he hates.
  2. Listen to those who have studied the Word and can explain it to you. Pastors and Bible study teachers do what they do to make the Word practical and applicable. Listen to podcasts and sermons; pick up one of the many resources that explain biblical concepts.
  3. Pray God would open your eyes to faulty ideologies that have made their way into your heart and to God’s ways that you’ve overlooked or never been taught.

Once your eyes are opened, you’ll see the world, and God, in ways you’ve never seen them before.