Growing a garden is much like growing your walk with God. The parallels have become more stark to me as this year was the first time I planted my own garden! Come reflect with me and understand more about God’s plan for growth in our lives.
1. It costs you a lot—time, passion, labor.
Garden: Before we could plant, we needed to do research. We then spent days building the beds, hauling soil, choosing plants, fencing carefully (more on that later), watering, and continuing to research as questions arose. Times come that I question if it’s all worth it, but a reset of perspective reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing.
Spiritual: Before we will grow spiritually, we need a desire. That leads us to prayer and the Word, day after day after day. When we encounter uncertainties and problems, we must always go back to the Word and prayer. At times, we will question why, but we must always return to God’s perspective and remember why.
2. It takes time to mature.
Garden: The moment I saw the tiniest hot pepper, it was in my hand and headed to the house. It was a beauty—about three inches and dark green. I looked at the plant information, which stated these particular peppers should be ripened to red. That’s not right, I thought, clearly it’s okay to pick them now. As the season wore on, my exuberance continued to the banana peppers and then the tomatoes—always picking them just a little too soon. Finally, I started to understand that to enjoy my garden to the fullest, I needed to wait patiently for the fruits to ripen completely.
Spiritual: So often we want to rush through the slumps and trials of patience. These “boring” moments couldn’t possibly be for our good! Not like the “mountain top” experiences where we feel like everything is as it should be. But God has a different perspective. He has called us to wait patiently on Him, to let patience have its perfect work that we may be fully complete and satisfied. (James 1:3-4)
3. The weeds grow easily and are difficult to remove completely.
Garden: Many people understand the fact that weeds grow with little to no help from us. Weeds have stubborn roots which are difficult to remove completely—also common knowledge. Finally, desirable plants are just the opposite: they take a ton of TLC, and if you’re not careful, you could uproot one with the slightest wrong motion. But one thing I didn’t realize was that some weeds grow near plants that look very similar to them. To this day, I’m not sure if I pulled up a weed or part of my habanero plant—it looked rather weedish (weed leaves, I’ve found, often have slight points on the leaves) so I chose to remove it. The other masquerader was by the bush beans. For days if not weeks I let them grow together until I finally realized the tall, beautiful, healthy looking plants towering over the bush beans were actually undesirable.
Spiritual: We just need to accept the fact that growing our walk with God is, and always will be, HARD WORK. Don’t sabotage yourself by buying into the lie that if it’s hard something must be wrong. Additionally, bad attitudes, thoughts, and habits will automatically crowd in and continue stealing our mind’s real estate and energy unless we actively and completely deal with them Biblically. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to examine our motives because, like the imposter weeds, they can seem to be right on the surface but really be filthy rags to God. (Isaiah 64:6)
Why are you doing what you are doing every day? Is your priority caring for your walk with God so that you will enjoy the satisfying fruit of fulfilling His purpose for your life? Do you need to reset your perspective and root out the imposters so you can experience the fullness of joy Christ has for you?
Laura started attending Lehigh Valley Baptist Church as a child when her family moved to the area. For years, her primary passion was in nursing and furthering her education. In the midst of pursuing a medical degree, God changed her plans and she married Jonathan Snow (read their story here). Now, she has discovered a special fulfillment from being a wife, and Lord-willing, a mother one day! Truly, God’s ways are always for our good and for His glory.