Thursday, July 5, 2012
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Do you garden?
Had you told me 5 years ago I would be gardening, I would have laughed at you.
I killed a vine (the hardest thing to kill) that we had gotten for a wedding gift.
I couldn't even keep fish alive.
I have a vegetable garden and many other flowering plants and bushes that are thriving!
I just love getting my hands dirty in the soil. I love pruning, and watering, and spending time in the sun.
I have also grown in my faith through this.
Jesus was a smart man.
He has numerous ways of explaining faith through the growth of plants. And it's beginning to ring truer and truer through my gardening experience.
This is what I've learned:
1. Planting in fertile soil yields a great crop. Planing on bad soil will yield nothing.
Luke 8:6 "Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture."
A few years ago I had planted several plants into soil I didn't till, and didn't add any nutrient rich soil to.
My plants died immediately.
This year I threw some wildflower seeds into nutrient rich soil, but didn't keep the soil moist. They never sprouted.
I was chocking my plants to death.
This is exactly like my faith. When I hear the Word of God spoken to me, but my heart is hardened or I'm angry, it is falling on deaf ears.
I'm mad….I don't want to hear the truth.
But when my heart is open, God's truth is like food for my soul!
I'm open to hearing the Voice of God, and I'm open to hearing His truth for my life.
2. Pruning the dead flowers and leaves, allows for better growth.
John 15:2 "He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
This is one of the best parts of gardening to me, but the worst part of my faith.
I love to cut off any of the dead flowers on my plants. I love that it makes the flowers that are alive brighter, and more alive.
I love that it makes more room for new growth. And I love getting my hands on my plants!
But this is the hardest part about being a Christian.
I hate that when I have a sin I'm attached to, Christ calls me to cut it out!
How does that make me sound?
I like to hold on to my anger, my bad mood, my resentment, and my bad attitude.
I don't want to be told to be patient, kind, forgiving, and understanding.
I like to stay in my funk and stew.
But I'm blind from it.
When I finally allow Christ to work in me, and allow Him to prune me of my selfish behavior; I have new room for growth.
I can enjoy the fruits of the Spirit so much better. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control.
Have you ever grown sweet basil?
I've killed nearly 4 of these delicious plants.
It wasn't until recently that I learned you have to pinch off the top of the basil plant when it begins to flower.
It's crazy to think you have to prune a good looking flower!
I was thinking it was sprouting new leaves. I didn't know that it was actually sapping life from the stems, turning them into a wood stem.
But as soon as I pinched those flowers off the basil began to grow and flourish.
This was astonishing to me how relatable to my life this was.
There are so many times in my life I find myself doing something good, thinking I am bearing great fruit; only to find myself resenting what I'm doing.
It's all about my attitude.
Even when I'm doing good things without love, it's dead.
1 Corinthians 13:1
" If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."
I told you Jesus was a smart guy.
Turns out…His parables are the perfect way to explain my faith.