He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.  Proverbs 28:19

     Jane was, for a long time, married to an angry, demeaning and demanding person. As often happens, he eventually decided he deserved better and left her for a woman from work. Jane felt lost. She had given up so much trying to make her husband happy, that she didn’t know where to begin.

     When she took a job her friend  offered her,  she began to thrive as “all of the things that had felt dead began to come alive again.” She took a class to increase and update her skills. She spoke up in meetings, and with each new victory, she gained more ground in the external world, as well as the interior world of her heart and soul.

     The verse in this devotional says that to prosper, we need to “work the land.” The same is true of our lives. We have to dig up what’s beneath the surface and find, once again, the treasure of our dreams and potential, and then we “work that land.” Chasing fantasies by wishing and hoping our lives were better, or by denying that anything needs work, will, the verse says, get us nowhere—“poverty.”

     Not only did Jane have to dig deep to recover lost skills and dreams, she had to face the fear below the surface, too—the hurt that her husband had inflicted, the shame of allowing herself to be treated so poorly, and the loss of parts of her life related to her marriage.

      When we face our demons and our pain, we “reclaim the land” of our hearts and souls. What we dig up will be a mixture of good and bad—dreams and talents, hatred and pain. That is part of the human condition. But if we don’t do the heart work or pay attention to our lives, there is no growth.  

     Don’t ignore your heart. Pay attention to negative feelings, and do something about them. Don’t let long-term wishes and dreams go ignored. Find out what they mean, what might be missing in your life. Don’t bury things, because when we do that, we bury our hearts. Work the land—and you will live!

*What message (thought, irritation, dream) inside of you have you been ignoring?

God, I know that You understand my thoughts before I even think them. I’m glad, because the clamor and chaos of my mind makes it hard to hear You or to think clearly. Help me get quiet enough to listen, so that I can reclaim any land I have lost. Give me courage to “dig deep” and work my land, my life, so that I live out my potential. Thank You for what I have. Bless it in Your name, Jesus. Amen.

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