The information on the seed package reads:
- Seeds germinate in 6 to 10 days
- Growing height- 3 feet
- Best sown in a sunny location after the danger of spring frost
- Thin seedlings when they are 2-4 inches in height
- Garden hints: Keep moist and water frequently.
I follow these instructions to the letter. Daily I check on their progress and have been known to hold a one-sided conversation with them on occasion. I feel closer to God in a garden. My soul is nurtured as I nurture these seedlings.
This spring, I began to equate the instructions on the seed packet to my life. I have been asking myself whether or not I nurture the seeds I have planted in the lives of those around me. Do I offer them proper sunlight, watering, and pruning by interacting often enough with those who need a friend or a mentor? And how do I nurture my own soul’s garden? Do I stop to consider whether I myself need divine Sonshine, watering, and pruning?
Seed companies tell us how tall the plants will grow, but how tall does God expect me to grow? How much thinning and pruning do I need? Do I bring divine Sonshine, Christ’s life-giving water, and yes, occasionally, even a set of trimmers when I interact with others?
Suddenly, the correlation between the gardening of our plants and the tending of our souls becomes more apparent.
As we approach God in prayer and petition, do we quiet our hearts and minds?
Or do we run complaining and begging God to fix our mess? How often has God placed someone in our lives, but instead of preparing the groundwork carefully, we spout off the first thing that comes to mind? I am reminded of the words found in Proverbs 18:21, The Message: “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.”
Do we study God’s true and righteous Word as carefully as we study the instructions on the seed packets?
Today, so much of our information streams to us through social media. Do we stack up tidbits found there to see if they align with God’s truths, or do we believe what we read because it arrived on the internet? When I dig out time from a busy schedule to dig into God’s Word each day, I am living the life Paul describes in II Timothy 2:15-17, NIV: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene.”
Are we an example of faithfulness to those around us?
Do others see the light of Jesus in what we say and do? How often do we check in with friends who need a kind word or meal? I can think of two recently widowed friends who need help in their new and sometimes dark season of life. I understand the grief journey, and God has nudged me to help them along their way. In II Corinthians 1:4, The Message, Paul gives clear instructions about how I should proceed, “He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
The parallel between the garden planted in our soil and the flowering of our soul is worth celebrating. We are uniquely and wonderfully created to glorify our Lord and Savior. Let’s grow together in our walk and talk with God. I need God’s reminders to bloom where I am planted and not emulate someone I find on social media sites.
God is our Master Gardener. We can always rely on Him to tend and nurture us as we walk in this broken world. Let’s ask God to open our eyes to the blessings surrounding us – there are so many! In this way, we will find ourselves planting seeds of joy and harmony in our lives and those around us.
Who comes to mind as someone who needs seeds of faith planted in their garden?