What I’ve learned About God through Gardening (Part 2)

Painting of a Rose (2010)

One of the struggles in life is to keep from being too busy. Every gardener knows that you must water, prune, and attentively care for the garden. However there are more elements that need considered. Since I have been busy (yes I admit it) my plants have grown out of control! The jalapeno plant has grown completely out of control. Since they have not been plucked they are turning red (super hot) and some may even rot on the vine. That happens also in our lives when we are getting all we need but refuse to share. Our vines are bowing over because they are so heavy with fruit. If we do not recognize we are blessed to be a blessing, our fruit begins to rot. Everything given to us is not for us. God wants to bless someone else.  My cilantro, which I was super excited about, not only grew super fast, it bolted. Because I was not willing to harvest it, it grew fast, died, and re-seeded itself. In our spiritual walk if we keep getting filled up, yet never pour out, we die. We turn inward. The focus becomes self. A plant can die from the fruit not being harvested and there is no room for more fruit.

Let’s talk about roots. Roots are important to sustain life, they are like our veins carrying much-needed nutrients. They can run deep, so deep beneath the surface that it takes a long time to pull them up. There are several problems that can arise with roots: the problem of being root bound, roots that don’t run deep, and deadly roots. I have several plants that are root bound. That means that they will not grow much larger. We want to grow. We want to thrive, but complacency and being comfortable has left us in a place where there is no room to soar to higher places in God. We aren’t using our gifts. We aren’t serving others. We are just watching the other plants grow and wonder why we aren’t moving. I don’t recommend abandoning where you are. However if you feel like you are pushing against a brick wall and know there is more, ask God for it. He may have another place for you. He may have a new area for you to serve. He may be calling you to a new vision. You never know, ask God.

Roots that don’t run deep are a big problem in the garden. When a storm comes, the plants are easily uprooted and blow away. These plants have no stability, no firm foundation, and they are not as healthy as the other plants. Spiritually we need to have good roots and for those roots to run deep. What are those good roots: love, faith, hope, truth, faithfulness, peace, the Word of God, relationship with Jesus, and relationship with other believers. If our roots don’t run deep when the storms come we will be plucked out and blown away.

Deadly roots yield bad fruit.  We talked about bad seeds. Often those seeds turn into bad roots that yield bad fruit. Bad roots when they are allowed to grow for long periods of time take a long time to uproot. Also the longer they are allowed to be there, the more painful they are to uproot. Roots of rejection, fear, desperation, hopelessness, low self-esteem and low self-worth, hatred, anger, lust, pride, selfishness, deception, greed/gluttony these roots once they grow deep begin to intertwine with any good roots.  They deplete the soul of goodness. Good roots support the plant. They supply what it needs and grow as the plant grows. The longer my plants are allowed to dwell in the soil, the harder it is to uproot them. The more we dwell with God, remain in His word, fellowship with Him, the more difficult it is for us to be uprooted. Bad roots are stubborn and if all the roots aren’t removed, when harvest time comes, there are little remnants of the plant that should be gone. I can’t plant anything in its place until all the roots are removed. Old bad roots crowd out new plants. Often God wants to plant something beautiful in the garden of our souls and there are so many bad roots, there is no room for the goodness of God. Often we can’t receive the goodness of God because our bad roots are crowding Him out.  Often we try to deal with the bad fruit instead of looking to God to dig up the bad roots.

So I pray that we share what we have and live selfless lives. I also pray that we allow the master Gardener to pull up any bad roots and nourish all the good ones. Happy gardening my friends.

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