My Father is the gardener. John 15:1b
As I was watering my garden this morning, I thought of my Father, the Gardener. Last summer I started becoming more interested in the plants I was taking care of. Some of them are like my babies. I nourish them with water. I fertilize them so that they will bloom for a longer period of time and so that they grow big and strong, just like I make sure to feed and care for my children. I carefully cut my roses back, hoping that my tedious pruning will produce even more buds. Certain flowers need to be taken care of differently. But they are all beautiful, some blooming in the spring, or summer, or fall.
We too are part of a garden. God’s garden. He has planted us and feeds us, carefully pruning and lovingly tending to His children. “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 15:2
Some of my plants have had to be transplanted. They were placed in an area where they didn’t get enough sun or shade, and had to be moved to a better place in order to become healthy again. A lot of times when I transplant them, I have to cut them back. They struggle, often turning brown ,as I transition them to a different part of the garden. But it’s necessary for them to truly flourish and grow to be beautiful.
Sometimes the Lord has to move us in order for us to grow into all that He wants us to be. Maybe He moves us into a new town, a new ministry, or a new community in order for us to get the nutrients we need to grow. Often the transition is a struggle, as we may not produce any fruit for a few seasons as we adjust to our surroundings. But the good Gardner knows that this is best for us, and its worth the dry season we may now be facing.
Other plants I wait with baited breath for them to flower. I have one such plant that I just received last year. These giant red blooms on this bush are as big as my hand. But each extravagant bloom on this bush only last for a single day. However, I faithfully water it every day and anticipate it’s beautiful blooms that turn into a masterpiece.
Sometimes we may feel we don’t often bloom but when we do, the blooms are beautiful to the Gardener. It has been worth all His watering, fertilizing, and patience. We too are God’s masterpiece, and often our blooms are the good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. (see Ephesians 2:10)
The flowers right next to my big red bush are tiny yellow flowers. They are not very tall. I almost lost them this year, because they were being crowded out by the cone flowers next to it. But as the gardener, I made sure that the stronger cone flowers won’t overtake these tiny precious yellow flowers. I faithfully weed out anything that would hinder these fragile little flowers from producing their small precious blooms.
We don’t have to have giant beautiful flowers. The gardener cares about the smallest of flowers because each are precious in his eyes. They bring pleasure to Him and to others because its the combination of all the different flowers that truly brings beauty.
I cut, I weed, I prune, I fertilize, I water.
Our Father, too, is a good gardener. He desires that all his flowers grow and flourish. He cuts out the diseases in our heart that discolor our leaves and feed on our vitality. He prunes our own desires and replaces them with His dreams. He fertilizes our lives, adding the right ingredients: people, places and situations-sometimes even hardships-so that the soil we have been planted in allows our roots to grow down deep and our shoots to burst forth from the ground. He waters us with His Word, promising that just as water causes vegetation to grow, so will His Word cause us to grow.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11
Lord, thank you for being a good gardener and carefully taking care of me. In the midst of the waiting or in the midst of the budding, may I remember that I am precious to you. Help me to trust your loving hand as you prepare me to bloom for you.