We had a lot of Elderberry growing in the back and along our driveway. Some of it has died off. In other areas, I can't get to it easily-meaning I have to spend hours cutting through thick brambles and poison ivy to reach it. About three years ago around the time I lost access to some of the plants, I talked it over with my Heavenly Father. In my ongoing conversations with Him, I asked Him to send me some elderberry I could easily reach.
That spring/summer, we had a lush "weed" that sprung up beside one of our backdoors. One day it was easy mowing. Seemingly on the next, there was a huge tough stemmed plant. I never even considered what it was because it was growing next to the house and I wanted it gone. I cut it down with my machete. It came back bigger. I had Caleb take it out. It came back. Joshua cut it back and dug around it. He used a pickaxe and removed a lot of the roots. "The roots are very large and tough, but I think I got all of it." It came back again. Clint had a good turn at it too.
This year, I meant to ask someone to cut it back but I never got around to it with me being home only three days a week. (Life is crazy busy!) I had some work to do in the backyard on one of the days I was home. As I marveled at how big the "crazy weed" had grown and how healthy it looked, I thought I recognized the leaves. FINALLY, with a big smile and some laughter, I finally realized God had answered my prayer. He put the elderberry right at my back door! It's not where I expected it. It's not where I would have put it. Not my way, but His.
Dear Reader, God not only gave me exactly what I asked; He even put it right under my nose! For nearly three years, I was so busy with life, I missed the gift He had given me and put right where I'd stumble over it again and again and again. Not only did I miss the answer to my prayers, but I actually tried to remove it by force from my life several times.
How often do we miss the things we've asked God for because they didn't come where and when we wanted and in the form we expected? How many times do we overlook His goodness to us? How many times do we ask for His help and then go about our way without watching and waiting for His answer?
Father, give us new eyes and help us to better recognize and acknowledge Your answers to our prayers. Help us to realize more fully Your goodness in our lives. Thank You, Lord, for my elderberry plant. Help me to be a good steward over the gift You have provided. Help us all to grow closer to You each and every day.