I have been doing a lot of gardening lately. I have been working a little in the yard each year, but not as extensively as this year. I'm pretty happy with what I've accomplished. Our yard has always been prone to weeds and in years past, I work on weeding a plot, move to another section to weed, and then another section. By the time I return to the first section, it is as bad as before I weeded it. That's frustrating! In years past, I give up halfway through the process. Sometimes I have been able to get some tomatoes in the ground, and some herbs and that is about it. This year I am determined to make some flower beds. I've established one, and am working on the second. I have dreams of all the flowers I want my garden to have, but it is hard work.
As I've been working outside, I've been thinking a lot about spiritual applications. I imagine those pesky weeds as sin. They completely crowd out anything good that could grow. They feast on all the nutrients the soil could be giving flowers, they slurp up any rain or water my bushes could use, they are monstrously ugly. When I am digging up these menaces, they have an intricate root network. This network is barely noticeable until I start digging really deep. It reminds me how the little sins in my life do matter, because they eventually join up and produce the ugliest things in my life. Once they are there, it is very difficult to be rid of them. I really have to dig to unloose them from my life.
"And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." Verses 21 and 22 cause me to think about my garden. I am working hard out there and although other people may enjoy it, it is mine, I want the fruit from it. When my beefsteak tomatoes grow in, I don't mind sharing some with friends and neighbors, but I want a majority of them, I did the work. When my lilies bloom, I want to cut them and put them on my table because I watered them, I weeded around them, I tended to them. How God wants us for Himself!
|Girl Watering Flowers in the Garden, Taken from Standard Bible Story Readers, Book Two|
By Lillie A. Faris, Illustrated by O.A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
Standard Publishing Company, 1925