I hate gardening! Oh, don’t get me wrong; I love the harvest, and I love cooking up, canning, and freezing the harvest from the garden! I am more than happy to spend hours in the kitchen, steaming over a pot of hot boiling water as jars are sterilizing, just so we can get the harvest canned before it goes bad, even if that means hours on my feet to make it happen. Shoot, I don’t even mind getting out and planting the seeds at the beginning of the season (even if it does get dirt under my fingernails) and I have actually been known to go out and water the garden a time or two in my life!
But you know what I hate about gardening?? The WEEDS!! They are the worst, especially for an amateur gardener like myself. Sometimes I can’t even tell the weeds from the plants! To avoid having to spend hours in the hot Kansas sun pulling weeds, I have even been known to wait till it rained, and then gone out in my bare feet with the mud squishing between my toes to pull them up while the roots are loose in the soil from the rain. Weeds are the worst, and there is nothing worse than going away for maybe a week on vacation and coming back home and finding that the weeds have taken over your garden!
This got me thinking………….
Gardening is a lot like life, you see. It’s like the words we say, the relationships we build, because with each word we speak, every action we take toward someone, whether they live in the same house as we do or it is a casual meeting in the grocery store, it’s like planting a seed and sometimes, when our brains seem to take a vacation from our mouths, it can cause a lot of weeds to grow in our relationship gardens.
We have the power to CAUSE peace in the storms of lives around us, or, we have the power to BE the storm of life in our families and in every relationship we come across. Because everything we do, every word we say is a seed we plant.
Everything We Do, Every Word We Say Is A Seed We Plant!
If those words are bitter, then a bitter plant will grow up, like a weed growing in that relationship.
Sometimes those words can grow almost instantly! Maybe it’s the sharp words we said to our husband when we were surprised by something he said that caused the spirit of fear to rise up in us simply because he presented an idea that wasn’t in our plan.
And other times, it takes a while for those bitter words to grow; like when we repeatedly are short in our response to the child that we have such a hard time relating to. Over time, their constant questions just get on our nerves. When ignored and not dealt with, any of these seeds can grow into weeds and soon take over all the good fruit that is in the garden.
But, in the same way, when kind words are spoken and kind actions taken, good things grow in our relationship gardens. The question is; what are you growing in your garden today?
Have you ever noticed how a weed seems to grow twice as fast as the good stuff in the garden? I have a neighbor who lives across the street from me who I have told, more than once; they make the rest of us look bad because they are out in their garden and yard almost daily, weeding it, mowing it, and whatever else you can do to a garden and yard! It never fails; when I look out my front door, one of them (if not both) is on their knees, maintaining what they have.
We have to realize that every day is an opportunity for us to make a difference in someone’s life. It is our chance to speak life into someone, especially those closest to us. It might be those who God has called us to do life with and who live under the same roof with us, or maybe it is the people under whose roof we grew up. But God has called us to speak life into those around us and I believe He expects us to not allow any bitter seeds to come out of our mouths. If we are truly followers of Christ, we will love those who live in our own homes. How can the world outside believe that we love them when we don’t even live out that love in our own homes?
I want to challenge you today to consider what seeds you are planting in the lives around you. Maybe you have a long history of planting bitter seeds into your relationships, and the weeds have kinda taken over your relationship garden. I want to encourage you to get on your knees and start maintaining your garden with prayer. You need to ask God to let the water of life that flows from Him to come and rain down on your relationship gardens till the soil is so wet, the mud squishes between your toes! Because, I am here to tell you that the rain God wants to pour down on your relationship gardens can restore everything the weeds have tried to come in and destroy.
God I thank You that You are the great gardener, and You have a perfect plan for my life. God I just ask today, that You would allow the living water that lives inside of You, to pour down on my relationship garden, restore what the weeds have overtaken and help me to never speak those words of bitterness or anger again in my life. Please help me to see that my self-centeredness and need for control are characteristics that are NOT like You!
Lord, let Your living water flow through my life, so that everywhere I go I bring life, and my life is always pointed toward You.
In Jesus Name, Amen.