“And you will be a like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11-12
Like others, we tried gardening while quarantined. We were blessed by not only fruit, but also fruitful lessons. Someone said, “The garden is my favourite teacher.” It’s actually the Gardener is my favourite Teacher, and He uses simple lessons from the soil. One reads: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever you sow, you will reap” (Gal 6:7).
We learned you ONLY “reap what you actually sow.” Seeds packets on countertops won’t grow zucchini. How much like evangelism: no seed, no new believers.
We also learned you “reap EXACTLY what you sow. Sometimes we hadn’t scribbled on our square foot gardening grid what was where – but time would tell in the results.
Some plants abounded but bore no fruit. Tomatoes love leaves but need pruning to bear tomatoes. We need to ask, “Where does my life actually need less, not more?” Much benefit is gained by focused energy!
Further, [ahem] – some plants were guilty of overcrowding others. We, the gardeners, had to “make space” for sensitive plants. Have I been guilty of overstepping or possibly even “overtaking” someone else’s area?
Some plants grew not at all. When our internet seed orders arrived from China or Taiwan, was it any wonder they did not grow in Canada? We missed the Thai basil, but was it where it should be planted? How about you – are you growing where it is right for you?
Hosea 14:8 says: “From ME (God), comes your fruit.” Only God “causes the growth” (I Cor 3:7). We marvelled at the pollination process of corn – those dangly tassel seeds must be blown by the wind on to the silks – which requires rows four deep and wide. No wonder our one row of spindly corn didn’t bear fruit (see the photo).
No lesson was more significant than: “fruit has to be protected.” Without netting (or traps) we fed squirrels, racoons, and rabbits. Our apple and pear trees were picked clean by critters. The fruit of our lives — our children, the fruit
of our lips, or our service for Christ, all have predators ready to “steal and devour” (Jn 10:10).
Gardening taught us humility. My (Linda) parents’ garden fed us all year long. Perhaps it was the fresh cow manure. Recently, an elderly gardener simply said, “When the onions fall over – they’re done.” Who knew? There’s wisdom is learning from the wise.
Next year, we’ll try again. The Bible says: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9).
We are hoping to reap a bountiful harvest in the lives of the students we train this year at Heritage. Would you pray with us:
- For the Heritage students who start to arrive on Sunday: Let’s pray for protection and fruit.
- For the opportunity to build Heritage: Let’s pray for growth – and still more fruit.
- For the class Rick and I will teach together this fall on evangelism: Pray for increased seed sowing for God’s kingdom. If you’d like to join us online, you can register here or email our seminary registrar, Karyn Mowbray at firstname.lastname@example.org.