Cultivating the Garden of the Heart

Spring has sprung here in Virginia! There is so much to do. Quite a busy time as I watch my seedlings develop and sharpen the tools to be ready for cultivating the soil. Just as we have to wait for the right time, when it is safe to plant, so we have to wait for the right times to plant the seeds in the garden of our hearts.

Last year I visited a friend of mine and while I was strolling through her garden I came across this special little rock in her garden which says: “To cultivate a garden is to walk with God”. This rock caught my attention, because in my own experience I have found this to be true. As I reminisce on the last six years of my life, I realize that being a gardener has changed me. It has brought me physical, spiritual and mental development, far more than any of the other hobbies I have pursued.  Cultivating the garden has taught me more about God and His love than I could ever learn from any book I’ve ever read. The beauty that is gained in a gardening experience show us clearly what God’s character is like, He is truly beautiful. He seeks to place His character in us so that our fruit will be an awesome one and that we will be successful at the work that He has for each of us to do in this life. It has truly been a growing process being a gardener, because I have had to fully depend on God for all the fruit I plucked out of every garden branch.

Every year the gardening experience is different as the summers vary, sometimes the climate is perfect, but other times there is a drought, or a summer that is too wet. I have had to study when the best times for planting would be and then apply myself after to watch the changing whether to make sure I water those babies just the right amount and watch out for weeds and pests too. It takes work and diligent study to be a successful gardener who gets the best out of each growing season. The best pest repellant is the gardeners shadow. It has truly been a journey based faith. Being faithful to all my gardening tasks will lead to a great crop if it is God’s will.

God is the gardener of our heart, He is always planting good seeds of love, practical lessons based of the principles of His word are nourishment for our souls as we consider them daily and ask Him to make our Christian experience authentic. Remember that the word of God states in Matthew 4:4, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” God is always talking to us, are we listening or are we blocking our ears. Every word that proceeds from God’s mouth also includes those experiences that you have every day with your family and friends, when that still small voice tells you to surrender your heart in that moment of crisis, but you hold on to what you feel like saying. Better to take time and surrender your will to His purifying power, He will cleanse your attitude and thoughts and replace the negative with positive if you allow Him. This is why memorizing scripture passages which are empowering God can be so effective. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

One garden illustration that has stuck out in my mind and taught me a tremendous spiritual lesson, is that of the potatoes. The crop of potato is only ready to harvest after the beautiful bushy green plant has died and dried up. Then you know it is time to fork up those juicy potatoes. Well this is the same for us as Christians, we only produce proper spiritual fruit when we die to self, surrendering our will to be purified by His power and grace. When we realize that God is to be praised and honored for everything in this life and we are vessels of His glory and power, no greater joy can come, for this is our heart’s desire. The fruit of the harvest is something that we all love to enjoy, but it is truly a miracle of God’s creation! Just to think of the chemical reactions that occurred to make every thing happen and the Great Provider .  He allows just the right amount of rain and sunshine to be added to each plant, to ensure its’ success. Consider that he will take of you in the same way.  In each stage of a plant’s development we see the hand of God who in love sees to the needs of every detail of His creation.

Are you connected to the true Vine? This Vine is Christ Jesus, whom if we are connected to Him we will learn to abide in His presence all through the day moment by moment surrendering our hearts to His loving attitude instead of our own. Have you ever thought about how your heart needs to be fed? What do you think is your heart longs for? How is the garden of your heart getting the nourishment it needs for good fruit? Seek Him with all your heart, for He cares for you! 🙂

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