How Does Your Garden Grow?
When I was pregnant with my second daughter I decided to have a garden. I planted seeds and nothing happened. My uncle explained to the beach girl that the soil has to be right and good. Uncle Larry tilled manure in with my soil and showed me how to mound the rows. I hooked the sprinkler up and made sure I watered often. I quickly learned about weeds choking out the plants. In no time, I was growing okra, green beans, lettuce and cucumbers.
My tomato bushes were beautiful and full of green leaves but they did not produce. My uncle explained that I needed to prune it so the nutrients could get to where the "flower" was. The plant did not look as pretty with so many leaves gone but the tomatoes started growing.
We need pruning too. God trims away the dead, diseased, the unfruitful so that He can grow us in His way! Remember, God wants us to trust Him even when the plan seems wrong. By not tilling my garden the soil was too hard for me to plant the seed deep enough and the water would wash it away. Mark 4: 20, "Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
When our hearts are hardened it is hard for seeds to be planted because they can't take root. The storms of life wash the seeds away. The weeds (sins) of my life choke out the good stuff. Jesus wants us to be "good soil" so we can have fertile ground for His Word! The Gardener works the soil in our life by breaking it apart, softening it, pulling weeds and leaving the decay of dead leaves and manure. There are circumstances in our life that feel like death or manure but God uses those circumstances to help us grow.
After all of the hard work of having a garden it is finally time for the harvest. John 4: 35, "...I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." The cultivation and care for our plants and our hearts pay off. These harvests become a source of food, rest and shelter for us and those we share our harvest with!