Icelanders have been utilizing their abundance of geothermal energy for many good causes. Not only do they use this energy to generate electricity, to heat their homes, and to fill their hot water tanks, they also utilize it to heat greenhouses for the purpose of growing fruits and vegetables.
Utilizing this kind of energy for greenhouse cultivation began in 1924, and now more than 175 000 square meters of the country are used for this sole purpose: growing tropical plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables, all geo-thermically! In a land where light is almost non-existent during the winter months, where winds are almost always present, and temperatures are far from ideal for the cultivation of plants, an abundance of fruit and vegetables is possible.
In these naturally-heated greenhouses, plant life thrives. There is no lack of heat, water or light. Everything they need to grow is provided for, and anything that could hurt them has been removed. There is nothing to keep them from growing, and grow they do!
We, as humans, however, in similar situations, would look through the window panes of the greenhouse and sigh: “It feels so claustrophobic in here! It looks so much nicer outside! Why do I have to be stuck in here, anyway? It’s not fair! I want to be free!”
Our cozy shelter suddenly becomes a threat to our well-being, and a deep desire to break free seeds itself in our hearts. The very rules that permit us to thrive become a threat to us. “I don’t need geothermal heat!” We cry. “I don’t need geothermal water! I don’t need geothermal lights, either! I want to be free!”
But once free, we would wither and die in the harsh weather conditions. Isn’t that what happened in Eden?
Jesus is trying to bring us back into that cozy shelter where growth is possible:
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15 NIV)
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21 NIV)
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:23-24 NIV)
Oh, we humans, we don’t like to obey! Speed limits are there to be broken. No trespassing signs are indications of where it would be the most fun to snoop around. Those who are honest are the weak ones!
But are we truly happy living this way? Do we feel loved? Do we love others in such a way that we feel fulfilled? Are we truthfully thriving, or are we withering away in a world where no one seems to care?
The truth of it all is that when God urges us to obey, it is for our own good. Listening to His voice will fill us with love undefined. It will make us thrive beyond anything we could ever imagine.
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” (John 15:10 NIV)
Obedience is all about love. Love from our Maker and Saviour, and love for others and ourselves. We either love or we rebel. It’s as simple as that. It’s really our choice.
Hum. Geothermal heat. Does this mean I can keep my windows open during the winter? In Iceland, the answer is, “Most certainly!”
Would you like to experience such abundant love?
(To access the entire “Jesus’ Deepest Desires” devotional series, please click here.)