Lessons from Gardening

Sometimes I pray for rain to water the plants and it doesn’t rain. I wonder is my faith strong enough? Am I in sin?

I feel like God said not necessarily. I have provided the water from the faucet, the money to pay the water bill, and the strength for you to get up and go water the plants. Realizing in my life that working for something or taking care of what I have been entrusted with does not mean I have a lack of faith.

Sin is like weeds. It’s tricky to spot weeds sometimes because the leaves are green just like the other good plants. It takes practice and attention to know the good from the bad. I have to be careful that I don’t allow camouflaged sin to creep into my heart/mind looking deceptively like a good thing.

Sin is like weeds in that it starts where no one can see. Just like the weed starts underground, sin starts inside my heart and then by the time it is visible to others, the root of the sin is already entrenched deeply and not easily removed.

Sin is like weeds in that if I see sin in my life and I ignore it because I’m not motivated to remove it, then it will take over quickly and sometimes kill off the good fruit in my life. It is so much easier to eliminate sin at the first sign instead of after it has infiltrated many different facets of my life.

Until the garden is completely weeded out, the water I give the good plants is also running off and supplying the bad plants. That doesn’t mean I should stop watering the good plants. If I stop watering in order to kill the bad plants then the good plants will die also. Similarly, I can’t remove myself from all people just because I get hurt by some people who have behaved poorly. I also don’t have to stop loving others just because some people took advantage of my love.

The bad plants usually grow faster, taller, and appear heartier than the good plants. I cannot judge others or myself based on outside appearances or performance. I know the little tree with the one piece of fruit that is growing painfully slow is the best tree in the whole yard. It’s fruit is going to be the best fruit once it matures. It is one slow-growing tree in a yard of a million thriving weeds. In the same way, God sees the heart. He is not concerned with outward appearances. And I shouldn’t be either.

Sometimes I look at my neighbor’s yard and judge them based on weeds I see. I have no business doing that because I have more than enough weeds in my yard to keep me busy for a long time. I need to mind my own business. I can help my neighbor with their problem if I’m invited, but I have no business taking my eyes off my own problems and talking about anybody else’s.

I generally cannot ignore the plants for days and then come and dump some water on them and expect them to live. Especially a tiny growing plant. Especially when they are being scorched in the heat. Similarly, I cannot expect my own growing spiritual life to flourish if I ignore it in the midst of the pressures of this crazy world. And then expect it to be resurrected if I binge on spiritual nourishment for a day or two. Sometimes these plants in the garden need water every single day in order to live. I am like that plant. I need new nourishment every day in order to flourish.

When I weed the yard, I have to remove the weeds and put them in the trash so they will die. I can’t throw them on some other part of the lawn because some leftover part of them will start to take root and grow. Similarly, when I remove sin from one part of my life, I need to remove it fully and kill it. If I toss a problem from one part of my life to another instead of killing the root issue then I will keep fighting the same battle over and over instead of experiencing victory.

Other lessons but that is all I can remember now.

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