Meeting God in the Garden

Sitting outside, enjoying the sunshine and the warmth of the air, I hear the bees buzzing around my head, and the birds venting their wrath over intruders in their space.  Not exactly peaceful, but the scene fills my heart with praise for my Lord.  What a wonderful creation is our world and all that is in it! 

The intricacies of gardening amaze me.  Our Lord knew what kind of soil to create, and which of His flowers would grow best.  He knows when to prune the wayward shoots that threaten the life of that tree, and when to prop up that staggering plant whose stem is so long.  Each blossom bears the promise of provision.  Each leaf demonstrates His protection of the vulnerable. 

Bathed in the sweet scent of flowers, my spirit is uplifted for their fragrance is a balm to my soul. He is ever faithful, and life continues under His constant, guiding hand.

Yet in a quiet corner, I notice a shrub that is not beautiful.  It is sickly, and clothed with a pestilence that is slowly draining its life.  It needs special care to recover its former glory.  I must ask myself, “Is He in the pestilence?”  Yes!  Even that has its place.  Plants that can survive an attack of pests or disease are said to be tolerant or resistant.  They have a built-in ability to withstand attack.  A plant that survives attack often grows stronger.

Is He in the fire? Yes, brush has been burned away; the ground is blackened and seemingly dead, but underneath life is sprouting.  Scientists have learned that fire can be beneficial to a forest.  Fire makes room for some species to thrive because the dead underbrush and choking grasses have been removed.

My husband tells a story about his mother out in her muddy garden trying to stand corn stalks upright after a storm.  A local farmer happened to see her effort, and gently explained that when the sun came out, they would stand all on their own. 

There are many lessons to be learned in a garden. It’s growth and fruition is dependent upon our Lord’s provision of rain and sunshine and oxygen to survive. Plants require just the right temperatures and protection from pests and disease.

Isn’t it in the trials and tribulations of life that we grow strongest? When life is good, we tend to forget our Lord; because we think we have no need of Him. Yet He is our hope to sustain us through bitter trials and sufferings. He is always faithful to help us in our times of need.

We too can stand when Jesus is present in our lives.  He enables us with His strength, might, and power to flourish amidst the pests and disease of this world.  He nurtures us so that we will be fruitful.  Why?  Because He is the vine and we Believers have been grafted in as a branch.  Our Father in Heaven is the husbandman who cares for the vine and its branches.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.”  John 15:1

Linda is an inspirational writer and photographer. Her writing has been published in, Union Gospel Press, Gospel Blog, Frontline, Dollar Stretcher, Discipleship Journal - DJ Plus, At the Center magazine, Simple Joy, Cross & Quill, Hot Cars, and others. Linda's story "Stretched to My Limit" about dealing with dementia was featured in "Stolen Moments" by Elizabeth Bezant. Linda's first non-fiction book was "Homeschooling: The Modern Day One Room Schoolhouse." In it, she shares her experience as a homeschooling mom, explaining the basic principles of homeschooling for the beginner. She successfully completed her first fiction novel through Chris Baty's 2006 National Novel Writing Course (NaNoWriMo). Linda also writes inspirational articles on her Words of Encouragement Blog. Enjoy Linda's photos at Words of Encouragement Designs.

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