Gardens are a beautiful hot mess.
Before a garden becomes a beautiful place filled with bountiful splashes of colors and intoxicating smells, it starts off as a pile of dirt and infant plants. With time, the gardener, treats the soil, puts earthworms into the soil to help the soil become healthy, plants the trees and flowers, waters the place and in time, the garden flourishes. He already knows what types of plants he is going to plant, where he is going to place the different types of species, what he wants it to look like and etc. He sees the potential of the garden months before his plants reach that vision.
Let me paint a picture for you…
During lunch break, the Gardener grabs two sandwiches for you two to eat and He makes space on the bench for you to sit on. The sun is beating down and you are both sweating bullets. The Gardener passes you some water and you drink earnestly. He asks you if you would like to know what He sees in this garden. You nod your head and take another bite into your sandwich. He then shares with you the vision He has for the garden and all of the things He wants to accomplish with it. He smiles and wipes His brow, thinking about how pleased He is with all of His work including how far the garden has come. You look at Him confused because all you see is dirt and worms. You do not see the beautiful daises, roses, apple trees or towering oak trees that He speaks of. All you see is a lump of dirt, mud and creatures. Nothing beautiful at all in your line of vision can be seen; no growth.
The Gardener laughs! It’s as if He can read your mind or something. You look at him puzzled and bow your head in even more confusion because you don’t know what He sees in this garden; after all it’s just a plot, full of dirt.
Time passes and the Gardener teaches you how to see like Him; how to see the garden as beautiful and as life. Overtime, you begin to understand and you start seeing as the Gardener sees.
Months pass and the very exact things that the Gardener was saying would happen in the garden are starting to come to fruition! The garden is beginning to look like an actual garden! The Gardener comes over to you, puts His arm around you and says there is more work to be done but He is proud of you and the way the garden is turning out. He is grateful to you for all the hard work you have put in during this whole entire process. He looks at you and gives the sincerest smile and heads back to work. You smile back and follow right behind Him with tools in hand.
We are all gardens, some gardens are messier than others, but nonetheless we all start off as hot mess gardens. The Gardener, God, comes and surveys the empty plot of dirt, but He has a plan. Before He plants one thing, He already sees in His imagination what the garden will look like and what crops it will yield. I am pretty sure the thought of what this garden can become excites Him and causes Him to get busy at once.
The Gardener is not concerned about all of the hard work it will take for the ground to yield to Him or how long it will take for the plants to grow. He’s not concerned about all of the dirt He will get on Himself. He has the end in mind and that’s what keeps Him going; that’s what gets Him up every morning to teal the ground!
At times, it looked like one plant in particular, my strawberry plant, was not growing. All of the other plants that I planted were growing, tall and strong. Meanwhile, my strawberry plant barely had a bud for two months. But I still had faith in my little strawberry plant; I knew it would grow; it would just take a little more time and I was willing to be patient and do whatever I needed to do to get it to grow. And just last week, I saw a bud starting to bloom on my strawberry! It was growing all along, just at a slower rate than the other plants.
Sometimes it may feel like some areas in your life aren’t growing or there seems to be no progress taking place; a place where I find myself presently. It feels like other places in my life are flourishing, but this one particular part in my life is dead, without growth.
But I’m here to tell you to keep going and pushing, even if you can’t see the growth physically. Just like my strawberry plant, it was growing but just not as fast as the other plants. Growth can sometimes hurt or be slow but don’t give up hope. By changing your perspective on your “lack of growth”, try shifting your perspective on all of the growth that has taken place in your life and what is to come. God is patient with us. He’s patient with our growth, so be patient with yourself.
Continue to persevere; endure the growth period.
Romans 5: 3-6 says, We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
All in all, growth is good I think…actually growth is good I believe; yeah it’s really good.
We are all beautiful gardens growing into the vision that our Gardener has set forth for us before the foundations of the earth were established.
Till my soul,
Cultivate my soul,
Gardener of my soul.