Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How's your garden doing?

It's been hot and dry. How's your garden?

I don't just mean the outside garden. I mean "how's the garden of your heart....?"

You can see that my "outside" earthly garden isn't doing so great. In fact....I just pulled a bunch of it out, flowers, other plants and weeds and such....just threw it all away.
It was done.
The plants wouldn't recover and they were to be no more. The flowers had their last stand...they were dead and or dying. I did this shortly after taking the above photo.

But other things in my garden ....I've tended. I've cut them back and have cared for them. I've moved some things around....and....they will be okay. They will thrive once the scorching heat backs off. Which is already happening. They made it.

Jesus is our gardener you know.

In the book of John chapter 20 verse 15 Mary even mistook him as "the gardener" after his resurrection. "Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away."

Think about it ...we are the garden....our hearts.
Jesus gave all for us....then He carefully tends to us. He prunes us when we need to be and he waters us and he protects us. He will take care of us because He loves us.

We however, have to be the willing plant, we have to have willing soil, "fertile soil" the Bible calls it. That's where the problem comes in.

Sometimes.....We don't want His hands on us. We want to rebel or we want to grow wild, not be in any boundaries, no borders for me we say.
Then will come the weeds after us to choke us and over run us.
Then ultimately you have a very, messy garden.
If any garden left at all.

I'm going to share this devotion I read yesterday because it caused me to think about all these things and more.

"My Father is the Gardener" John 15:1

It is a comforting thought that the trouble, in whatever form it comes to us, is a heavenly messenger that brings us something from God. Outwardly it may appear painful or even destructive, but inwardly its spiritual work produces blessings. Many of the richest blessings we have inherited are the fruit of sorrow or pain. We should never forget that redemption, the world's greatest blessing, is the fruit of the world's greatest sorrow. And whenever a time of deep pruning comes and the knife cuts deeply and the pain is severe, what an inexpressible comfort it is to know:
"My Father is the gardener."

John Vincent, a Methodist Episcopal Bishop of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and a leader of the Sunday school movement in America, once told of being in a large greenhouse where clusters of luscious grapes were hanging on each side. The owner of the greenhouse told him, "When the new gardener came here, he said he would not work with the vines unless he could cut them completely down to the stalk. I allowed him to do so, and we had no grapes for two years, but this is now the result."

There is rich symbolism in this account of the pruning process when applied to the Christian life. Pruning seems to be destroying the vine, and the gardener APPEARS to be cutting everything away. Yet he sees the future and knows that the final result will be the enrichment of the life of the vine, and a greater abundance of fruit.
There are many blessings we will never receive until we are ready to pay the price of PAIN, for the path of suffering is the only way to reach them. J.R. Miller

"I walked a mile with PLEASURE.
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with SORROW,
and ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When SORROW walked with me."

I feel that in our lives we all have a bit of a "gardener" in us. That's why I named my blog "The Secret Gardener"....because I am and I do. I'm not just talking plants and ground matter.
I'm talking lives, I'm talking hearts.

Even if you don't feel you have any type of "green thumb"...I know that many of us work on our "own" gardens THEN we look around to see "WHO" we can lend a hand to so as to help them take care of their "garden" as well.
OR that SHOULD be the way it is and what we are about. There is always someone who is having a "garden problem." Some sort of blight or a mold issue. Possibly a water shortage.....maybe then need some nutrients added to their soil.
Quite possibly they just need a little help lifting their shovel to get rid of some "dirt" from their garden.
Problems do come to everyone you know.

This is all good news....we can have healthy hearts.....vibrant gardens, then help someone else with their garden when and if they need it. .
Let's ask the Father....the "MASTER GARDENER" to check over your garden today and do whatever needs to be done.
I am.

Oh I did "borrow" the name "The Secret Gardener" from my friend Doug Wood (don't worry I told him) who has a business he runs with that very same name in Birmingham. I liked it alot. As you can tell.......HA! HA!
I felt that it went along with the theme I wanted to convey in this blog!
Thanks Doug.

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