Dirt trapped under fingernails. Sore fingers. Calloused hands. Cracked knuckles. Minor Cuts. Who wouldn’t have those physical symptoms after planting the following in 6 days!: 37 SunPatiens; 10 Trailing Petunias; 1 Dahlinova Dahlia; 1 Super Cal Petchoa; 6 Zinnias; 1 Rose Supreme Hydrangea; 1 Merritt Supreme Hydrangea; 2 Voltage African Daisies; 1 Coleus; 1 Osteospermum; 36 French Marigolds; 2 Stella De Oro Daylillies; 1 Salvia Nemorosa; 3 Gerbera Daisies, 1 Arrow Leaf Echeveria Succulent; 1 Pixie Ivy; and 1 Rosemary Gorizia. WHEW!!! Gardening is unyielding work, but the results are worth it.
However, it is frustrating after you squat, bend, dig, plant and water and then discover some of your work was in vain. For example, a month later you come across a wilting flower that continues to ignore your generous care. All I can do is plant and water. I leave the rest to the sun, but I still get annoyed that some plants fall through the cracks while the majority beam and bloom and grow.
We want everything down here to go smoothly 24/7, especially after we have worked hard to make a situation better. I guess it is time to bring in a much overused cliche: LET GO, AND LET GOD. What if there is a better divine plan after all our striving? To uncover that, we have to dig in God’s word.
According to Genesis 3:23, Adam was the first human gardener. Beyond that, it it fascinating to realize that in the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was portrayed as a Vine planted by Jehovah God who lavished them with care and attention. But Israel revealed themselves to be unfaithful and unfruitful due to their sin of idolatry or worshiping other gods besides Jehovah. God then later entered the world He created by becoming a person, representing Himself as the True Vine, the real deal. No counterfeit here! Jesus said “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.” (as found in John 15:1-New Living Translation)
So if God is the ultimate Gardner of our souls, do we really, really trust Him with our very lives? It’s a scary thing to pray: “God…do with me whatever you want.” Letting Him rake and cultivate your soul so that you will bloom into the person who reflects the Light of the world can be a painful process. What He allows in our lives to either root out thorny sin patterns or to cause us to abide with Him may seem like He is pruning too much.
From The Way of Abundance Ann Voskamp writes: “What seems like ashes in your life can be the actual fertilizer that grows your life. Souls grow most in soil made rich by ashes. Fire makes a fertilizer for growth, and ashes can be the best soil for the best soul growth.” It is unknown who originally said the following: “If you cannot trace God’s hand, trust His heart”. Will you trust the Gardener’s hand?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & His Nikon”.