This is gardening season and, since our last “downsizing” move, we do not have a large garden as we are accustomed to having; just a few tomatoes in tires, some runner beans along the fence, and flowers in containers.
God was first to plant “a garden Eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed…to dress it and keep it. And out of the ground He made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food…” The Prophet Ezekiel called Eden “the Garden of God.” The garden was God’s idea! (Gen. 2:8, 15; Ezek. 28:13)
We think of the principle purpose of a garden as being for the production of food for the BODY. Thomas Hill said, “The garden is a ground plot for the MIND.” And I have found it a wonderful place for communion with God in SPIRIT. Another important value of a garden is to TEACH – the principles of sowing and reaping, patience, perseverance, and many other Spiritual values. It was in my garden thirty years ago that the inspiration came to me for this little prayer:-
O, bless my little garden, Lord,
I love its every row;
O, bless me as I pull the weeds
And watch the seedlings grow.
And may the seeds that I plant there
Be watered from above
With all Your cool, refreshing rains
Sent down in faithful love.
And may the sun in all its warmth
Shine its life-giving rays;
I’ll not forget to thank You, Lord,
For all Your wondrous ways.
My garden is so rich in truth
With lessons I may glean
For spirit, soul and body there,
Drawing Life from the Unseen.
So, bless my little garden, Lord,
Its blossoms to its roots,
And may there be for all to share
Abundance of rich fruits.
Eulene H. Moores, 1978
Indeed, I have gleaned many lessons while working in my garden. One that bears periodic repetition comes from the encroaching quack grass roots which present a perennial problem, since we are surrounded by aspen forest. They run underground non-stop and out of sight, and they seem to think that we cultivate the soil for their benefit alone. And, when digging out the thistles, if an inch of root is left, it will grow up with two heads instead of one! They must be thoroughly eradicated!
These always remind me of the Scriptural admonition to keep a sharp eye out for roots of bitterness. A thistle or two allowed to go to seed can ruin a whole garden in short order. Bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness and pride are some of the subtle weeds that like to invade our Life’s Garden, pilfer our peace and joy, and steal the nutrients our spirits need to grow in grace and be fruitful. (Heb. 12:15 )
Our Master Gardener has a way of dealing with these obnoxious weeds as we bring them to Him with David’s prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” He persistently roots out the offending weeds and thoroughly cultivates the soil of our hearts. That is not always a pleasant process, but a very necessary one for our good – and the Divine Gardener’s pleasure. (Ps. 139:23, 24)
“Now the God of all HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE in the believing,
that you may abound in HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
In Agape, Eulene