How Does Your Garden Grow?
Somehow, I've begun receiving Martha Stewart Living in the mail. I'm sure I didn't order it myself. I've never been a big Martha Stewart fan, though her magazines do hold many attractive ideas. However, since it was in my mailbox, it seemed a shame to throw it away unopened. So this evening, I read through the March issue.
It was filled with information on gardening. I thumbed through page after page of inspiring gardening tips, beautiful photographs of gardens lovingly tended and read articles on how these amazing little Eden's had been accomplished.
I have to admit that I was inspired to return to the gardening I once did. But even as I felt the inspiration, I felt fear. That fear related to what had happened the last time I put my efforts into gardening. That fear related to failure.
As I lay there in my bed, after turning out the lights, I reflected on how much work it takes to grow a garden, and how many obstacles stand in the way of gardening success.
First, since I live on a patch very rocky soil, there is the need to remove many of the rocks and replace the rocks with good, fertile soil. (a very grueling job!)
Second, since my house is situated on a couple of acres, not including the areas outside the fence, there is a very large area to cover with living plants.
Third, there are many different types of hungry pests which consume the plants I cultivate almost as soon as they sprout.
Fourth, I live in a desert, so the ground is always thirsty.
Finally, I am not always bursting with the energy to accomplish all of these tasks.
I admit, I was discouraged. As I reflected on my past failures, I thought of what a waste of time and money it would be to try again to cultivate my own piece of Eden.
Then, a thought came to me. What if I only tried to cultivate one area at a time? What if I lovingly and carefully spent a bit of time each day removing the rocks from one area. What if I added soil supplements into one area? What if I fenced in one area to protect it from the wildlife? What if I chose plants that were not so thirsty and could thrive in a dry land? What if I only worked for as long as I could each day and didn't feel the need to accomplish the whole project all at once?
I think I could do it. And then I realized how this is a wonderful analogy for the daily sanctification of the Christian. Many times, we feel like failures as Christian women. We compare ourselves with someone whose walked closely with the lord for 40 years and wonder why we aren't just like her.
But God is faithful to meet us right where we are when we are pursuing Him.
He does not expect you and I to be spiritual giants. He just expects us to cultivate a love for Him a little each day. Psalm 1 tells us that we are blessed if we meditate on the law of the Lord day and night. That means that each day, we are spending some time focusing on who He is and what He has to say to us. We are daily cultivating relationship with Him, removing the obstacles to our faith, adding in the supplements to our growth through His Word, spending what energy we have and not becoming obsessed, fighting the fiery darts of the enemy as they come at us through the armor God has provided.
Psalm 1 goes on to tell us that we will be like a tree planted by rivers of water that bears fruit in it's season. Sounds a bit like the start of a garden to me. What do you think?
I pray that you are cultivating a heart that loves Jesus, one day at a time, facing each trial as it comes and not focusing on what might happen or the end result, but on that days walk with Jesus.
I'm adding a few photos so that you can see what my garden looked like when I was tending it lovingly. I am glad I found these. They remind me of what can be. That I can have my own piece of Eden, even in the desert.