I spent some time in our flower garden this morning. I can see it from our kitchen window, but it was refreshing to stand amidst the various plants. I enjoyed the aroma created by the various flower fragrances. I touched the delicate petals of a daisy in bloom. The lilies and geraniums produced splashes of yellow and bright pink while surrounded by green leaves. I pulled a few weeds I found growing among the flowers because they detracted from the garden’s overall beauty. As I plucked out those straggly looking green things, I tried to get the roots so they would not grow back so quickly.
Suddenly I saw a spiritual analogy! Just as I was the one tending our floral garden, I became aware of the correlation regarding the Lord being the one tending the garden of my heart. Most likely some weedy sins in my life need to be pulled out by their roots just like the weeds in our flower garden. In Moments with Majesty, Jack Hayford comments that even the best gardens have weeds. He also says that weeds have a way of diminishing the possibilities of fruitfulness in our lives as well as in gardens. (p203) My desire is to get rid of anything hindering spiritual growth in my life. I want to bear fruit for the Lord. Weeds not only detract from beauty but they also hinder what grows in our gardens, whether they be full of flowers or life experiences.
While I was standing amidst our flowers this morning, my attention turned to the dianthus plants. They are covered with beautiful pinkish purple flowers, but as my hand brushed across the tops of the flowers I became aware of how many of the blossoms were dried up and needed to be snipped off. These flowers will continue to thrive all summer if I continue to get rid of the wilted, withered, worthless remains so that new blossoms can grow. I got down on my knees and began the beheading process. If I had neglected this process, there soon would have been only ugly dried up deadheads. I thought I had finished my project, but when I got up from the ground and observed the plant from a different angle, I discovered more work to do. Back down on my knees I went. In spite of there being more brilliant blossoms than dreaded deadheads, it still seemed like a never-ending task to enable my plant to produce more flowers. This is a labor of love I will need to continue throughout the summer for our dianthus blossoms.
Since my mind was still attuned to the spiritual symbolism in the garden, I compared my handling of the dianthus plants with the Lord handling my life. Just as I gently touched my flowers, so does Jesus gently touch my life to bring healing and wholeness. From a distance my heart may seem to be flourishing for God, but if I allow His hand to touch the leaves of my life, He most likely will find some things that need to be plucked out if I am to continue to grow and bloom for Him. James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” As I invite God to come into the garden of my heart and examine my life with a touch of His hand, He may push aside some of my efforts revealing things I have allowed my hands to do that have become dead works unto Him. He may convict me of a need for repentance in order for the development of new blossoms and blessings. Romans 6:11 says, “count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” That means I must get rid of the deadheads in my life in order for my life to be a flourishing flower for the Lord.
I completed one final job before I left our garden this morning. I filled my watering can and gave the flowers some water to keep them fresh while the sun shone on them the rest of the day. Here was another example of God’s care for me. In John 4:14 Jesus says, “whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst, indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” His offer of water is better than the water I gave my flowers. Thank you, Jesus!
My Reader, what is the condition of your garden today? Do you need to tend to the flowers in the garden of your yard? Do you need to allow God to be the Gardener of your soul? Both you and I might prefer to ignore the weeds and sins in our gardens but if we tend to these fruitless factors the results will be abounding beauty. We need to make sure there are no weeds hindering either natural or spiritual growth. May the beauty of Jesus be seen in us and not hidden by distracting weeds or worthless deeds.
A personal question for you: Is there some soil or soul gardening that you need to do this week?