The Master Gardener

by Freida Harrison

“Cultivate the garden within.”

Spring is a time of awakening. With eager eyes, we see the sleeping earth return to life. The grass turns glorious green, leaves fill the branches of trees, butterflies begin to flutter in the breeze, birds sing as they build their nests, and wild flowers begin to bloom in the fields. The unfolding of God’s glory is ever-present. For me, it is a beautiful time of year with many anticipations of joy–one of which is Hubby’s vegetable garden. He grows delicious-tasting vegetables. When I put a bite of one of his fresh-grown tomatoes in my mouth, the flavors and juices burst forth with tastes that are savory and delectable.

Hubby begins his garden long before the arrival of spring with the  tilling of the soil to soften the earth. This is done several times to get the ground ready for the seeds, as the preparation is essential for their growth. Precise plans are made, and the seeds and sprouts are purchased. When the soil has been cultivated, and the weather promises to cooperate, the planting begins. Onions, potatoes, green beans, peas, squash, and tomatoes are selected first. Okra will come later. With great care, each seed and seedling are planted with the tenderness of a mother caressing her newborn baby. Watching him brings sentimental tears to my eyes.

Every day when Hubby returns home from his job, he rushes in the house to change clothes and dash outside to inspect his garden. Each plant is checked for intrusive pests and bugs, water and fertilizer are applied when needed, and weeds are pulled. He loves watching the plants grow and awaits the arrival of the harvest with great anticipation and joy.

As I watch him work in the garden, I wonder if I have labored to prepare my heart as diligently as Hubby is laboring to establish a healthy garden? Have I tilled the soil of my heart and made it soft and ready to accept the seeds that God wants sown there? Have I made sure the soil is equipped to grow what my Heavenly Father has called me to plant such as kindness, love, joy, hope, forgiveness, peace, patience, faithfulness, self-control? Am I deliberate in checking my garden every day to eliminate the pests and weeds of insolence, bitterness, pessimism, jealousy, selfishness, and the like, that may have crept into the garden of my heart to destroy it? Do I water and fertilize it with the word of God and prayer? In order to make the garden of my heart successful, I must be intentional about its growth in the same way that Hubby is intentional about his vegetable garden. I pray that I have made the proper preparations in my heart and that I safeguard it with knowledge, wisdom, love, enthusiasm, persistence, and dedication–an important lesson that I learned from watching Hubby create his garden. When I do the work I have been told to do, God, who is the master gardener, will make the growth.

Heavenly Father, please guide me to establish a heart of healthy soil to grow the seeds that You want planted there. Give me the wisdom and strength to plant good seeds and keep the pests and weeds away. Thank you for being the Master Gardener of life. In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
1 Corinthians 3:6 (NIV84)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV84)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (NIV84)

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalms 51:10 (NIV84)

Copyright © 2012, Freida Harrison, All Rights Reserved. Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from NIV (1984)

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