Lessons Learned in The Garden
Spring is here, and that means it's time to get the garden planted. Prepare the soil, plant the seeds and wait for the bounty. If you have ever grown a garden, you know this list is only part of a season of gardening. There is a lot of work between the seed and the fruit.
Gardens are important in scripture. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night he was betrayed.(Mark 14:32) It is through agriculture examples that Paul preached the gospel and encouraged early Christians. Jesus is the Vine and the Father the Gardner.(John 15:1) In the garden, as the beautiful hymn says, is where He walks with us and talks with us. Planting and growing are designed by God to give us what we need. When I needed healing and restoration, I found it in a garden. I call that time my “garden” season.
It was a dark time in my life, I felt like a ruined city. Broken hearted, nothing left, at the end of myself. A friend encouraged me to “put in” a garden (that’s what we call planting). At the time, this city girl had no idea how to properly grow a garden but nothing is impossible with God.
The first summer of my garden therapy was an amazing, glorious time with God. In the early morning, just as the sun peeked above the horizon and through the trees, I could hear His voice. Walking between the rows of peas covered in dew and watching bees dart from one bloom to the next, I could feel His loving presence.
The person I was before the garden and the daughter of God I am after the lessons in the“garden” season are very different. In the garden, is where God rebuilt and restored me and I learned these important lessons.
The Soil Must Be Ready A good garden starts by preparing the soil. It has to be broken up, tilled and turned. If farmers skipped this step the seeds would lay on top of the hard ground and never flourish. God sometimes does the preparing, He did with me, bringing me to a place of brokenness, and sometimes it’s up to us to get ready. The Word of God is a mighty plow, it cuts and shreds lies and reminds us of His love. Get the ground ready.
Get Rid of the Weeds My least favorite chore in the garden was weeding. Removing the invasive, never-ending cycle of weeds that choked the life out of my tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash was exhausting but necessary. In our life, there are “weeds” that invade our thoughts and hearts. Left to grow, they choke out the truth. We must constantly renew our minds with His truth, the truth of who we are. Tend your hearts and minds.
Be Alert for Predators One summer raccoons discovered the corn and in one night mowed down every stalk. They enjoyed a corn fiesta. Deer can also destroy a crop in a heartbeat. Keeping predators out of the garden was a constant battle. It is the same with our enemy, Satan. He comes to steal our fruitfulness, to mow down our confidence in who we are as daughters of the one true God. He comes to destroy God’s work in our lives. Fighting predators begins with understanding what keeps them away. Prayer keeps the enemy at bay. We are urged to pray without ceasing. Prayer creates a barrier that the enemy can’t cross. You have to fight the enemy.
It Takes Time The hardest part of gardening is not the work; it’s the waiting. It takes a long time for a seed to turn into something to be enjoyed at the dinner table. But there’s no rushing; it takes time. In the waiting, however, I learned to watch what the Creator was busy doing. Once a sprout emerged, there was something new every day. One tiny leaf then three, then a bloom, and before my eyes, fruit! I learned that during the waiting for healing, God grew me, He changed me from a sprout in faith to fruitful. While you wait on God, recognize and look for ways He is working.
God Did It, Not Me My hands and effort did not create the garden and its fruit. It is God, our Creator and it is He that deserves the gratitude and glory. I learned this lesson when neighbors with “garden envy” would admire my truck patch garden. My first thought was, “yeah, that’s me, the master gardener.” Not so. It is God who equips us and strengthens us to do His will. Give thanks to One who created the fruit. It was not by our efforts, but His love.
There’s Always More Than Enough Our first crop of vegetables filled a wheelbarrow! It was a glorious day in the garden.There was so much more than we could eat or store. So we shared…with our neighbors, with our co-workers, with our church family, anyone willing to accept a tomato or two. We were able to spread what God had given all around. Share what God has done in your life with others. You have been given an abundance, not to keep, but to share.
My gardening days are gone, and I miss getting dirty, mostly because it was an amazing time with God. He restored me and rebuilt me. Do you need restoration and healing? God is there, waiting for you, to help. He is ready to help you plant the seed, tend the tender growth and rejoice with you in the bounty. I pray you will listen to Him calling you to a “gardening” season.
PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Loving Creator, praise you for the gifts you give, for the bounty in a relationship with You, our Father. Speak to us where we are right now. For us who need healing, whisper comfort to us. We welcome your healing.
ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE: Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Matthew 26:36
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-17