From Steve’s Desk:
“Spring has sprung. The grass has riz. I just wonder where the followers is?” This is a phrase that my grandfather would recite at the beginning of spring. He was an avid gardener. He grew amazing tomato plants and beautiful roses. I learned so much from him following him down the garden paths. He was always cautioning me to stay on the path. Well, I often strayed of the path, but I learned so much from him. I do have a great love for gardening to this day. Several years ago, I completed the Purdue “Master Gardener” program and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am looking forward to beginning a new garden at our new home when we move.
Gardening has many spiritual applications for us. Just as a plant grows, so should our faith. It begins as a seed planted by God within us and when given the right conditions, it will sprout. That seed has everything it needs to begin its life. That is how God designed it. But its growth from that point is dependent upon many things. It has to have the right soil, the right light, the right water and the right nutrients so it can grow to its full potential. Then there are other things that encourage its growth: weeding, mulching, pruning and fertilizing are all important to a plants health. If our faith is like a plant, God has planted it within us and given everything it needs to sprout, but what happens after that takes effort. We have to have the right soil, the right light, and the right place to grow. Growing our faith also takes tending to be healthy and to achieve it full potential. God provides us with what we need, but we also have to put in the effort. Gardening takes work and so does growing our faith. Our faith needs conversation with God, time spent with Him, time in His word studying in order to feed our growth. The growth of our faith also takes worship and service. Just as a flower reaches for the sun, we too need to reach for the Son to glorify God. Growing our faith also takes weeding, cultivating, pruning and mulching in order to achieve its ultimate goal – to glorify God and to produce seeds. These seeds are faith planted in others by what they have witnessed and received from our own faith. You see we are both a part of a garden and a gardener as well.
Jesus taught many gardening related lessons in the form of parables. He illustrated His messages using seeds, soils, vines, and fruit. He also discussed the importance of sowing, cultivating, pruning and reaping.
Jesus said that if we have the faith of a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds, and then we can move a mountain. (Matthew 17:20) Let’s grow our faith so that we can be the biggest of all seeds, a coconut. Imagine what we could do! Growing our faith takes effort but the rewards are beyond measure. Let’s get gardening!