by Ineke Cornish
Having moved to a new location, we have undertaken an extensive garden makeover to remove diseased trees, and rejuvenate tired and neglected garden beds and lawns.
The process was very involved.
First we had to analyse such things as:
· The slope of land,
· The soil condition,
· The drainage,
· Light and shading,
· And exposure to wind etc.
Secondly we had to map out our plans for the proposed new layout. We also needed to decide on what we wanted out new garden to achieve. What was its new purpose, and how would it best enhance the environment or suit our lifestyle?
Having all the necessary information, we began the process of selecting and purchasing trees, shrubs and flowers; and then came the planting and nurturing of them. Our new garden is now evolving and flourishing, with birds, bees and butterflies as regular welcome visitors.
Throughout this process I reflected that gardening has a number of similarities to the Christian life.
We might often be tempted to think our lives and circumstances are a matter of chance or luck, but even as each plant is carefully selected to grow to its potential, and in a particular place in the garden; so the Lord has placed each one of us where we can be most productive for Him.
Nothing is left to chance when our lives are yielded to Him.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11. NKJV)
Roots are most important to the health and well-being of a plant. Shallow roots are often the downfall of healthy looking plants, and will not withstand harsh conditions. To achieve the best results plants must be planted in deep, well- watered and fertile soil.
In Matthew 13, Jesus teaches about a sower sowing seed in various soils, and the resultant crops. He goes on to explain that this represents the kingdom of God, and how it is received by various individuals.
Unless we put down deep roots by “feeding” on God’s word, and living closely with Him, we too will find it hard to withstand the trials of life.
The care of a garden is ongoing, with watering, feeding and pruning, which must all be done regularly, if the garden is to thrive.
Similarly the Lord provides and cares for us through out every aspect of our lives.
John 15, gives a very helpful illustration about this.
‘I am the vine and you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in Him bears much fruit.’ (John 15:5. NKJV)
Are we producing good fruit, spreading the good news and enabling ourselves and others to grow?
The passage however goes on to warn us that if we are not ‘in the vine’ producing fruit, we will be cut off. We cannot ignore these warnings; if we aren’t trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for our salvation, we face eternal consequences.
The gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23.NKJV)