Gardening is a tool. Quite an amazing tool I have to say. Of all of the ways that God could have chosen to feed us, he chose fruit, vegetables, leaves, and animals too (but then again they eat leaves, grass, grain, fruit…).
It all starts from a seed. They are plain and small, not much to speak about; not usually appetizing in the least, but each one is like a little miracle. Think about it. Take an onion seed. As my son said, “they look like little pieces of charcoal”, but you put them in the ground and you water, and water, and water, and that little seed germinates. Within a few months, as you continue to water, it grows a stem and a type of leaf, and an amazing bulb forms underground. It’s spectacular and mind boggling.
Now, I know scientists have been playing with seeds and genetically modifying seeds, but the fact is, they can’t CREATE a seed. There is no fruit, vegetable, grain, or leaf that has been created BY man, yet God created THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of different kinds. That’s phenomenal.
But like I said, gardening is a tool. Over and over again in scripture God uses parables from farming to teach us about who we are and to explain the present and the future. It’s no accident. When God created the method by which we would be fed and nourished he built in reminders for us. God’s pretty ingenious like that.
It’s a reminder to us as we prepare our garden soil, that we also need to be concerned about the soil of our heart. Are we hard and rocky, are we infested with weeds, are we shallow, or are we well aerated, nutrient dense soil? Are we feeding our soil with good things? Are we in God’s Word getting nourishment? Are we spending healing time in prayer, fellowship, fasting, and confession?
It’s a reminder as we plant our seeds that we also need to be planting the seed of the gospel. We are people farmers. We spreading the seed of the gospel out there, hoping to see a harvest someday. We come across fresh soil all of the time, even soil that has never seen the seed of the gospel. As hard as that is to understand in our culture, there are people who have never really heard about Jesus.
The seed also reminds us who we are. These bodies of ours are seeds as well, and one day, we’ll be planted too. I was reminded of this yesterday at the celebration of life for my friend Miss Sue. She understood it. She made the most of life and the opportunities that she had. It was a beautiful service and a great reminder of what is to come.
When we water it reminds us that everywhere we go, we are watering seeds. Whether they were planted by us or by somebody else. Whether it is the seed of the gospel or weed seeds. The way we live our life will either feed and encourage the good, or feed and encourage the bad in ourselves and others. What we do has an impact on our life and in the lives of the people around us. At the celebration yesterday, it was quite obvious my friend Miss Sue did a lot of watering. Thank God for that.
I’m also reminded that there are seasons. There is a time for sowing and a time for reaping. Right now, I’m sowing in my garden. I’ve gotten two of the four new beds planted. Actually my sons did. They’ve planted all of the seeds so far this season. I think it’s a great exercise for them to go through, builds their own interest in gardening, and helps them feel connected, and therefore more willing to eat, the produce from the garden. Life has seasons as well, there are times of rebirth, times of growth, times of wilt where we need more good things like prayer and Bible study, times to bear fruit and harvest, and there is a time to die, at least for this perishable body.
There are a million more things to learn about ourselves, about God, and about his plan for us, from the garden. My favorite for now remains, we plant, we water, but only God can make it grow.