Gardening for the Soul

It’s that time of year again when the hope of warmer weather is right around the corner. We get glimpses of it from time to time and it only ignites within me the desire to get out and do some planting. I love gardening, whether it’s vegetables or flowers, either way it puts a smile on my face. Every year when spring is within reach, I can get a little too excited on starting my seeds for the season. It usually doesn’t end well for the seedlings or my excitement. Most don’t survive due to certain elements or the fact that colder temperatures are still lingering. I know this can happen, but yet I still cannot contain my eagerness. So every year, I do the same thing ,but yet I anticipate different results. Unfortunately, the outcome remains the same. Little survival with my seeds, and only a few plants will make it to be transplanted into the garden. The excitement I once held, turns to disappointment. Maybe this will be the year I will have some patience. So far, I have managed to be disciplined and reel in the anticipation of getting started too early.

Gardening is therapeutic for me. I love the process of planting a tiny little seed and watching it emerge from the soil. God’s creation amazes me. That little seed doesn’t have to be told what to do, it just does what it was created to do, and by fulfilling its purpose, it can reap a bountiful harvest of color and food. I thoroughly enjoy walking through my garden during its peak. The smells and the colors leave me in a place of wonder and of peace. The butterflies and bees go from flower to flower collecting pollen and nectar. All things pointing to the creator. I can’t help but think if God can orchestrate all that, then why do I let myself be overcome with doubt and fear about the circumstances in my own life.

Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! Luke 12:27-28

I find a lot of parallels when it comes to gardening and taking care of my soul. They both require time and attention. Seeds cannot be sown too early or they are in danger of not surviving. When we put our plans and desires before what God would have for us to do, chances are it will not have a successful ending.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

 Plants need light, water, food and protection each day. My soul needs the same thing to flourish.

 I need the one who is the light. 

Again Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. “ John 8:12

 I need the one who can quench my thirst. 

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give will never be thirsty again. John 4:13-14

He died my death on the cross so that I could live, and he gave us his word, the Holy Bible, to keep us fed and on the right path. 

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I give for the life of the world is my flesh. John 6:51

He offers me guidance and protection. 

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

With a garden, you need to tend and nurture it daily. If you skip a few days, you more than likely will go out and find an abundance of weeds. The same thing pertains to our relationship with God. I must seek him daily or my soul will become weak. Every day I don’t spend time with him, I allow weeds the space to grow in my own heart. Before I know it, they will have taken root and the longer they reside there, the deeper their roots run making it harder to remove. I find myself needing to root out things like doubt, anger, jealousy, worry and comparison to name a few. If we want to harvest the fruits of the spirit, we must tend to our soul and keep close to our heavenly Father. He will provide us with what we need to live and to flourish. Seek him daily. Read his word. Spend time in prayer. Be intentional in growing your relationship with Christ.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

 These habits can help your soul become fertile ground for which spiritual fruits can grow. If we are harvesting the right fruits, people will see Jesus in us. Take a honest look at your heart, and remove those pesky weeds so you can make more room for the good fruits!

Keep moving forward,

Hayley W

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