In the past anxious season with a pandemic and political unrest, it gave me great hope to open the seed catalogue I found in my mailbox and then get to daydream wistfully about some new vegetables which may actually grow in my backyard garden here in Colorado Springs. At an elevation of over 6,800 feet and with such a short growing season not everything is suited for the local conditions. I loved getting the ground ready and mapping out my plan for the garden.
There are gardens throughout the Bible and at least a hundred and twenty five plants, and trees and herbs are mentioned.
In the Song of Solomon 2:10-13; “My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs and the vines are in blossom, they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.”
In Solomon 6:11; “I went down to the orchard of nut trees to see the flowers of the valley, to see whether the grapevine had budded and if the pomegranates were in flower.”
And in Luke 13:19; "It’s like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his own garden and it grew and became a tree and the birds of the sky found shelter and nested in its branches.”
And where did this all start, with this garden planet, the earth. Let’s go to Genesis…
In Genesis 1:11-12; And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation , plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth. And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seeds according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”
And then, where do we come in?
Genesis 2:8; "And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
A garden is a sacred outdoor space where you can retreat from the world, relax, take your mind off your worries, feed yourself and reawaken your connection with the Spirit of the Lord. We can plant and water, fertilize, prune and harvest but it is God who gives our garden life and He who makes things grow.
In first Corinthians 3:7 it says; “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything but only God who gives the growth.”
We are so glad to taste a ripe raspberry or crunch down on a carrot and think what great gardeners we are. How does this compare to God in our lives? He made us and paid a heavy price for us. Are we growing into the person that God would have us to be? Are we giving God His return? We know what happened to Adam and Eve in the garden they were given by God to live in. Are we living our lives faithfully and becoming the person He would have us to be here on earth, this garden, so that we can join with him in Heaven?
The Word of God in Deuteronomy 28 gives us instruction and hope: “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. …”
And what about the return in my own backyard garden? I just heard a radio report from the US Department of Agriculture says that for every dollar’s worth of vegetable seeds you plant, you can raise (and I add “with God’s help”) twenty five dollars’ worth of produce in your own garden. Now, that’s a pretty good return!
We need gardens not just for food but for so many reasons. In a recent study from The University of Birmingham in England, they found that the more green and garden space they establish in prisons, it dramatically cuts down on violence and self-harm. Gardens provide for physical health and nourishment, mental and spiritual wellbeing, as well.
Every time I’m out in my garden, I have fond memories of my father who loved to garden and who could spend the entire day outside working in the dirt, even in the blazing heat of an Oklahoma summer and for him, it never really felt like work. And then there was that first tomato, well now, that was something close to heavenly.
Let me leave you with one last encouraging verse:
Ephesians 5:15: "Be very careful then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity”.
Let's continue to cultivate the gardens of our hearts to be a transforming force in our world for the Kingdom of God.
Rocky Mountain CTN- Colorado Springs
At Rocky Mountain CTN our mission is focused on empowering viewers to discover a fulfilled life by providing relevant media that connects people to God and community to change our culture. This blog is made up of thoughts to start that change.
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