If you planted a garden last spring, you've probably already been blessed with satisfaction of eating some of its bounty.
I planted zucchini, and yellow and winter squash. It was my first try at planting squash of any kind, and it was a fun experience. I fried it, baked it, and ate it raw. And while my garden space was minimal, I had enough to share with several others.
In looking back over my gardening venture this year, I noticed similarities between the natural and spiritual gardens of our lives. I'd like to share my observations with you.
In my natural garden, before I could be concerned about the ground and all that needed done, such as weeding, removing rocks, tilling, and leveling, I needed to purchase the seeds. It was a fun and educational experience, trying to decide what to grow in my garden space. Then I needed to decide the placement of the seeds, and measured off a certain amount of space for each future plant.
This reminded me of how our Savior purchased us, and paid a high price for our deliverance from sin and eternal separation from Him. He chose us, then placed us in families, and within those families He established certain boundaries to help us thrive and flourish in our space.
In my garden, next came the preparation of the soil. My wonderful husband cheerfully pitched in and made it happen! I couldn't have done it without him. He was a wonderful and effective helper. Without his help in doing the hardest part...preparing the soil, the garden would not have become a reality.
In our spiritual gardens, where would we be without the tireless, effective help of the Holy Spirit? He comes along beside us and enables us, regardless of the task, to continue and finish the job. Without His working in our lives, our gardens would be desolate.
Once the soil was prepared, it was time to plant the seeds. I watered them, and then began another part of the process.....the waiting part. When the waiting was over and the squash appeared, we were not surprised to see yellow squash on the yellow squash plants, zucchini on the zucchini plants, and winter squash on the winter squash plants.
As we learn to wait for the Lord, the fruit of patience is being worked, or developed in us. Along the way, we learn that if we want kindness or goodness, love or mercy extended to us, we must sow those kinds of seeds into the lives of others. Whatever we plant, the law of sowing and reaping goes into effect..... for each fruit produces after its kind.
When I first decided to plant a garden, I didn't know it was going to be the driest season in many years. I watered the plants so much I didn't even wind up the garden hose, but left it laying stretched out and ready for use, daily. I found it necessary to start the watering process early in the morning, before the heat of day. I grew tired of the ritual, but was determined to not let my dream of having a bountiful squash crop, die.
In our spiritual gardens, we need the water of the Word of God and communion with the Father on a daily basis. When we choose to put first things first, and order our day with God at the top, we flourish and produce much fruit. True, there are many waiting seasons where it appears nothing is happening, but we can rest assured that if we stay connected to Him and allow His Holy Spirit to work in us, He can take the fruit of our labors and provide nourishment to not just a few, but to many.
You may be wondering just what is the main point of this little article. It is this: We are the seed of God. He has purchased us back from the enemy with the price of His Son's blood. He wants to produce a beautiful, bountiful crop of all He is, through your life, and mine. We must not lose patience, grow weary, or faint, and we must choose to remain in Him, for He will finish what He has started within us, and all for His glory.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
by Barbara Thompson-Young
Sept. 3, 2007
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