How Does Your Garden Grow? – Part 1

Garden-Grow

Ahh, the smell of spring is in the air! Spring showers are here, and the grass and trees are getting ready for this year’s summer growth. Our environment is becoming a luscious green palette, and we find ourselves anxious for the upcoming months of summer gardening. Whether we are serious gardeners or weekend enthusiasts, everyone enjoys the beauty of the colorful floral landscapes, as well as the delicious vegetables that are available to us through our hard work and conscientious effort.

I often compare the garden, its needed maintenance, and its resulting fruitfulness (or non-fruitfulness!) to that of my own soul. It is then that I ask myself, “How does my garden grow?”

Being a true visual learner, the gift of a small children’s gardening kit sitting on the table next to my prayer chair has become very thought-provoking for me. The tools within that gardening kit have become a daily reminder of the work the Holy Spirit and I do during my quiet time with the Father. Each tool is used for a specific purpose; all are used to rid the garden of my soul of the weeds that grow as a result of life’s painful events and circumstances, and that keep us separated from our Heavenly Father. 

Let’s work together to create an instruction manual for each tool in our gardening kit.

Pruning Scissors

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:1-2 NIV).

Webster’s Dictionary defines pruning as “the act of cutting away what is unwanted or superfluous.” As we see in John 15, time spent with the Master Gardener can become painful when we are in the pruning season. Each of us has unwanted growth that bears no fruit in our lives. “Unwanted growth” can be activities, habits, relationships, language, or even thoughts that need to be removed from our lives. Anything that prohibits us from achieving our God-ordained destiny will be cut away so that our growth is focused on the fruit-bearing branches.

The Master Gardener will also prune away branches in our life that are producing fruit. God is always looking to the future; the purpose of pruning these fruitful branches is a greater harvest in the years to come. As an example, ministries can be put on hold simply for the purpose of preparing ourselves for the next level of God’s all-knowing plan, through separation and study.

Are there areas in your life that God is trying to prune in order to make you more effective in His kingdom?  Join me next week as we look at two more essential tools that are useful in our gardening kit to tend the garden of our soul.

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