This year was my first attempt at a garden. I had a tumultuous beginning. My plants were dying, and I was trying to figure out if they had enough sun and water - or too much. I had to learn how to prune my plants - but not too much. The height of my learning curve was evidenced when my friend kindly pointed out that my plants were not planted deep enough, which was the root of most of my problems. Aside from that, though, I had to deal with weeds, bad bugs, not enough good bugs (bees and ladybugs!), and learn that there were good and bad bugs. I loved working on my garden. There was something peaceful about tending to the plants and hoping they’d grow, and I was so excited when I started to see some results. The results didn’t always come as quickly or as abundantly as I would have liked, but it almost made it more exciting when that first cucumber or tomato did appear.
I realized that gardening could be a metaphor for our spiritual life. It’s not always an easy journey to keep trusting in God when things are hard or when we’re in a season of waiting. Earlier in the year, I attended the IF Gathering. One of the topics which was discussed was how to trust God when you’re in the “middle” of your season of life - a season of waiting or desire. Isaiah 40:28-31 talks about how God is the creator of the earth, and He does not grow weary.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.
These versus encourage me that God is good, unfailing in His love for us, and worthy of trust and praise.
“For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations” – Isaiah 61:11.
Just like I had to be patient with my garden as it took some time to grow and produce vegetables, so God is patient with us as we struggle through seasons of waiting and rejoices with us when results start to show.
I wish I could say after all that learning I’m now an expert gardener… However, my garden is now harvested and dead, so I’ll have to try again next year. At least now I know to plant things deeper and will get to learn what else I don’t know!