Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Finding God in the Garden

Rick and I have a garden.  Well...something like that.  With the drought we've been under for months now, it has been hard to keep the vegetation alive.

Early in the spring and after such a mild winter, I planted an array of corn, peas, tomatoes, cantaloupe, garlic, peppers and onion.  I was excited to get a jump on the season.

Carefully, I pruned and weeded, staked plants and strung wire.  Everything was going well, until the excessive heat hit, then things began to go downhill from there.

First came the beetles.  You know, those pesky Japanese types that munch until there's huge, gaping holes in the foliage.

Not wanting to use pesticides, I tried persistently to shew them away, but to no avail.  Finally, I had to resort to a "green" type of bug deterrent.  It worked and all was bliss, that is, until the weeds.

Even after careful preparation of the soil, the weeds still managed to take over a good portion of the garden.  Day by day, I'd go through and claw at the dirt prying and stripping away the crab grass and other stubborn intruders.

Then the drought got so bad the plants began to wither - their leaves scorched by the sun.  Though I water every evening, as soon as the sun rises their bodies are beaten back down by the extreme weather.

On top of the bugs, weeds and drought, we also had a huge wind storm.  We did get a little rain out of it, but its strength laid the corn over on its side.

It was finished and so was I.  I told Rick to go ahead and pull the stalks up...the output was nothing compared to the care that had been put in. 

Today all that's left are a few hearty tomato plants, some thriving cantaloupe, and two newly planted watermelon.  They now receive my complete attention and I do everything I can to help them produce.  So far so good.

So you may be thinking, "What does this have to do with God?"  Jesus told a story in Matthew 13 about a farmer sowing seeds.

Some of the soil fell along the path and the birds of the air came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places where it sprang up quickly, but then withered in the heat, while still others fell among thorns choking the plants.  Finally, some seed fell on good soil and it produced a harvest many times over that which was sown. 

My garden and this parable are very much alike.  God plants His world full of different types of people.  Many of the seeds never even come up.  They stay stagnate within themselves, failing to experience the wonders of an abundant life in Christ and the fruitfulness of serving Him.

Some begin to grow, but are soon overtaken by the enemy leaving them tattered and feeling as if they are unusable.

Other individuals grow and begin to flourish, but quickly burn out and fall away when the pressures of life get too difficult or when the thorns and weeds take over.

Thankfully, though, there are those few who weather it all.  Even though times get tough, the road is long, the day is hot, and there seems as if no hope is in sight, they stand firm - stand strong with their heads and hands raised to the Father.  Daily, He lovingly nourishes them with His life-giving Word.  These are the ones that the Father delights in.

Friend, I hope today you are one of the few.  If not, it's not too late.  He can lift you up, pull the weeds aside and give you the refreshment you need. After all, He is the Great Gardener.

God bless and happy gardening. :)

Kristi

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