Gardening has never been my thing. I don’t know a lot about it so I just stay away from it. It is outside of my wheel house and comfort zone. Ironically, when we moved into our new house, we inherited a lovely garden. The landscaping is beautiful. You can tell a lot of time and care was spent on it.
I immediately asked the realtors to find out if the previous owners had a gardener. I figured it would be cheaper to hire someone who knew what they were doing instead of letting the beautiful plants die. Unfortunately, the previous owner did all the work herself. Bummer! So, like I do with other tasks I don’t know how to handle, I ignored it. But eventually I knew I had to deal with the plants. I decided watering was a good starting point. And I had heard someone tell me that you should dead head the flowers. That was the extent of my knowledge. This time, however, I was determined to keep these plants alive. So I googled some info and watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to garden. As I began to care for the plants, I began to see similarities between gardening and cultivating a relationship with God. When I go too long without tending to the plants, it can seem like an overwhelming task to care for them. Just like when I go too long in between the time I spend with God. Sometimes I believe the lie, “I’ve gone this long not reading the Bible, what good would it do to start now?”. That is silly logic. Just like when I decided watering was a good place to start with the garden, often times just reading one chapter or spending 10 minutes with God is enough to change my thought process.
Additionally I have learned gardening requires constant work. I am never done with it. Caring for the plants is hard, time-consuming work. Just when I start to feel pleased with myself at all the work I’ve accomplished, there is something else that needs my attention. The same is true with my walk with God. I can’t spend just one day each week with Him and expect to grow. I need to constantly be tending to my spiritual walk. A lot of the plants in my yard are too heavy to stand up by themselves. They need support stakes next to them so they don’t fall over and break. We all need support in our lives to help us stand. I need encouragement from family and friends. I need accountability in my life. Without that support, I would have broken stems and be laying on the ground (sometimes literally). I also discovered using the right tools helps me perform the job better. Having a good pair of gloves and good shears are essential. Likewise, when I have a good devotional book or a good Bible study, it helps me stay committed to my quiet times.
I am by no means an expert gardener, but I am slowly learning about it. I love the quiet time it gives me, outdoors, to spend time with God and see how all of his creation need tender care. And it reminds me it’s a continual process. I need the reminder and encouragement to spend time with Him, even if it is only for a few minutes here and there. God doesn’t require me to be an expert. He just wants me to have a heart tender towards him, willing to learn and grow. I really hope my garden survives and thrives. But more importantly, I want my relationship with God to flourish because of the time spent with him.