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Life is Like a Garden

So much of life can be reflected in the imagery of a garden. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven.” Sewing, growing, and harvest is as true for a garden as it is for our lives. There are some key elements used in the life cycle of a garden that are similarly used in our lives. A tiny seedling goes from a budding bloom to a fragrant flower with the help of soil, sun, watering, pruning, and fertilizer. It is here that we see the profound parallel between seeds and souls. For the Master Gardener often uses the same elements to grow His followers as He does His flowers.

First, there is the soil... God's Word

Any experienced gardener knows that the quality of your soil, determines the quality of your plant. A plant grows best when it is in rich, nourishing, soil. Soil provides the life-giving nutrients that birth a plant’s root system. Friends, it’s important to remember, the root determines the fruit! The soil's depth is also crucial. Roots grow down deep before they grow out wide. For us to be “rooted and established,” we must have depth. It is interesting to note that the most important process of a plant happens underground, in the hidden place, where no eye can see. So too, with us, the Lord's greatest work is done within, where no eye can see. You may not “see” or even have evidence of what the Lord is up to in your life right now but remember this, evidence is not proof of existence. Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that “faith is the assurance of what we hope for in the certainty of what we do not see.” Take heart little seed, trust the process of waiting. He's establishing. He's rooting. Our soil, God's Word, allows us to root into the depths of Eternity. The day the gardener sows the seed is not the day he eats of its fruit. Keep nourishing deep into His Word and trust that our Master Gardener is faithful to grow all that He sows.

Next, there is the sun…The SON of God

It is impossible for a plant to grow apart from the sun. Light is an essential element to the life of a plant. Our souls, like a seed, are entirely dependent on the Son. We just change the vowel. Our souls bask in the Son's light and that's what keeps us upright. According to the Gardener’s Almanac, the quality, quantity, and duration of time a plant spends in the sun has a direct correlation to its growth. So too, for us, the duration of time we spend with The Son and the quality of our relationship with Him will have a direct impact on our growth in Him. Ever notice if you place a plant inside, it will always grow toward the light… you know the sun's direction from the bend of the bloom. May our souls, like the seed, always grow in the direction of the light. May our posture point others to Him.

Then, there is the water…Our Habits

Our habits are the hydration to our root system. Consistent habits, like consistent watering over a seed, help to feed the root. Hydration is another important component to a plant’s life cycle. Just as crucial to being rooted in The Word and basking in The Son, is hydrating our habits. The daily hydration of our habits feeds the in-between, the stem. Between the root and the bloom lies the stem. It holds the flower upright and serves as the pedestal to the focal point. Proper hydration keeps the plant’s flower from becoming limp, weak, and simply put, sad. How are your habits helping you grow? Are they life-giving? What habits are watering your seeds? Are they God-glorifying? Healthy hydration leads to healthy growth.

Last but not least, is the pruning and fertilizing…the painful & stinky parts of life

“Oh! I love pain! I love the smell of poop!” said no person ever (and probably no plant for that matter). We often enjoy hydration, soil, and sunlight but when it comes time to the painful and stinky, we'd rather do without. Any plant or person who has lived through a season or two knows all too well how necessary these components are to health and growth.

Let's start with pruning. The irony in pruning, as it relates to the plant, is that in order for a plant to grow it needs to be cut back. As contradictory as that sounds, it is true. The same is true for us. John 3:30 reminds us that, “He must increase, which means I must decrease.”Our Great Gardener doesn't desire to cut away at us like Edward Scissorhands. He knows exactly where to snip to shape us into the likeness of His Son. Let us also take note of a plant when it is being pruned. Does it try to dart away? Escape the process? No. Imagine how exhausting it would be if it did?! So too, like the plant, let us submit ourselves to the shears of our Gardener. It will make the process much easier. Besides, resistance would just become another part He's prone to prune. Save yourself the extra snip! 

Alongside the pruning, there's the fertilizing. There is no way around it, manure stinks! And on this side of Eternity, the stinky fertilizer will enter our garden boxes. Oftentimes, the “manure moments” of life leave us with more questions than answers. How can anything life-giving come from this stench? Any experienced gardener is willing to place domestic dung over their seeds because they know the fragrance of the flower will grow stronger because of it. Buried beneath the foulness of the fertilizer lies numerous benefits. In Hebrews 12:11, our Master Gardener, tells us that “No discipline (manure) seems pleasant at the time but goes on to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who have been trained by it.” Stand secure in the manure friends! Remember there is always purpose in pain. There is nothing our Godly Gardener cannot use!

It is my prayer that we have the eyes to see the Father's workmanship in our lives. Like a garden, He uses soil, sun, water, pruning, and yes, even the manure to grow us. We all grow in our own time with a vibrancy and fragrance that will never be duplicated. For God never makes the same thing twice. Friends, may our roots grow down deep, our stems point toward the Heavens, and when we bloom, may we put His artistry and workmanship on full display.


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@Carol Lopez Beautifully written, thanks for sharing! #Lifeislikeagarden

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Carol Lopez
Carol Lopez
06 oct 2023
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Thank you Wil. Miss seeing you (and your beautiful garden of flowers) every week. 💜

@Wil Foor

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