Tending Your Garden
I have mentioned on here a few times before that Colby and I started a square foot garden in our backyard in 2013. As each year has passed and our schedule has gotten busier and busier, the garden has received less and less attention. It was once bountiful, full of tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and many more vegetables. I wish I had a picture to share because it was it was overflowing with life and almost looked like a mini jungle from all the greenery. But over time, as we tended to it less, it soon became dry and barren. So dry and barren that this past weekend Colby ripped out any last remains.
I watched Colby as he pulled out the roots and it was during that time that Father spoke to me. He reminded me that if we don’t remain connected to the source, him, we too will end up dead. Not physically dead, but spiritually dead.
If you are a gardener then I can tell you this: you know way more on the topic than me, because my knowledge is very limited. But I do know there are several steps that it takes to have a fruitful garden and the ones that come to mind immediately are preparing the soil, planting the seed, removing weeds, pruning and watering.
But what happens when you don’t take care of the garden? What happens when you don’t tend to the garden? What happens when you don’t water the garden? What happens when the garden doesn’t get enough sun or too much sun? Well…. I can tell you from experience that it all dies. Everything withers up.
Our spiritual lives are no different. As a follower of Jesus, you are called to bear fruit. John 15:8 says, “When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father!” God desires for you to bear fruit for his glory. And the only way fruit can be produced is if you remain connected to him! Let’s read more of what John says:
John 15:1-8, TPT says, “I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine. I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless. If a person is separated from me, he is discarded; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned. But if you live in life-union with me and if my words live powerfully within you—then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done. When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father!”
Wow! Wow! Wow! This passage just leaves me speechless. Just as our garden died because we didn’t take the necessary steps to keep it alive, our spiritual lives wither away if we don’t tend to them either. This verse says, “So your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine. I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless. “
One more time…
“Your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.”
You are called to bear fruit and you can’t bear fruitful without connecting yourself to Christ. When you “live in union” with God as your source then scripture says “Fruitfulness will stream from within you.” Or as some translations say, when you “abide” or “remain” in him then “you will produce much fruit.”
What might it look like to tend your garden? To abide in him? To live in union with God? It’s going to take work. The word union means, “to be joined.” If you join yourself to someone, you have to talk to them, listen to them, spend time with them, right? Your relationship with your Father is the same way.
So I want to leave you with this: Are you joined to Christ? Are you living out your life as his co-heir? Are you connected to the vine? Are you living in union with him? Let me remind you that even though some areas of your life might feel or seem dry, that doesn’t mean that any other areas of your life you can’t be flourishing with fruit. Don’t let what happened to our physical garden (see how it looked below) be the case for your spiritual garden. Spend time tending to your garden!
“The seed sown among weeds represents the person who receives the message, but all of life’s busy distractions, his divided heart, and his ambition for wealth result in suffocating the kingdom message and prevent him from bearing spiritual fruit. As for the seed that fell upon good, rich soil, it represents the hearts of people who hear and fully embrace the message of heaven’s kingdom realm. Their lives bear good fruit—some yield a harvest of thirty, sixty, even one hundred times as much as was sown.” Matthew 13:22-23
PS. If you are going through infertility, please head over to join a faith-based support group I founded, Moms in the Making!
PPS. Have you picked up a copy of my book? Buy In Due Time, a 60-day devotional for hope + encouragement in the waiting.
PPPS. I created a group on facebook as an extension of my book + blog to discuss anything + everything. Women only! Come join us!