Gardening plans

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1 Corinthians 13:7-9 ESV So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

Whether you’re a master gardener with award-winning vegetables or a consistent killer of all defenseless houseplants*, we’re all growing something in the gardens of our lives. And this soil scientist surely wants to harvest much good fruit instead of many guilty failures!

Whether you’re working on the garden in your back yard or in your soul, much work is required. And often, work like this requires more than determination and time. For example, before my father acquired a tiller, he would borrow one to use in his garden. For he knew without it, the soil wouldn’t be ready in time for planting, even with his best efforts with a hoe. Similarly, I need to borrow the truth of Scripture for plowing up the garden of my life. For I know without it, the soil of my soul won’t ever be ready for a planting of more faith-seeds, even with my best efforts in applying self-control.

While thinking about the advent of spring the other day, this cycle towards growth in the gardens of my life popped into my head. I hope you think it is one that bears reading and repeating. (I know I surely need it!)

  1. Pull out the weeds of worry, discontent, apathy, and greed with the good plow of prayer.
  2. Plant the Word in the soil of your soul now worked up and ready to receive it.
  3. Prepare for the necessary work of cultivating grace in word and action with more prayer.

This cycle isn’t a new idea for me. I learned it from the example of my parents. Their consistent and careful application of prayer with purpose to the gardens of their lives has brought much fruit in many lives, including mine. Thankfully, I’m still seeing this cycle repeated and renewed in their lives today.

This is because good gardeners are always working in their gardens, no matter the season of year or strength of body. If they’re not outside doing tasks, they’re inside planning tasks needed to be done. Be it picking out seeds from a catalog or putting out stakes for cucumbers, those tasks are important. Likewise, setting aside time for Scripture and prayer or sending a timely note of encouragement, those tasks are important. All of it adds up to root, shoot, and fruit development in gardens, both in our yards and in our souls.

No task is small to our Good Gardener God in His preparing us for the kingdom of heaven and it for us. For this task at this time with this person is His cycle of growth of pulling, planting, and preparing all of us for eternity, one work or weed at a time.

Psalm 92:12-15 ESV The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him         

*Endnote: I think I need at least one or two congratulations for having successfully kept 2 houseplants alive for over a year (grin). Plus, a third houseplant seems to be managing to make it also. (Yes, I can provide photographic proof, if requested.)

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written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2023.

Published by Beth Madison

author, speaker, learner

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