Finding God in the Garden is easy. When springtime rolls around, it’s hard for me not to write about my favorite season. Visions of pink and blue hydrangeas, white gardenias, yellow daylilies, coral heuchera, and purple petunias dance in my head. Every year I save up for colorful replacements or new varieties.
There are some things about this time of year, however, that can destroy its beauty–if I let it.
You guessed it: weeds. You can tell by this picture in my backyard garden that some flowers are blooming. But most of those green shoots covering the ground and invading the good plants? Weeds! Unfortunately, just like most of the plants in my gardens, those weeds are perennial.
The sun may eventually kill the shallow ones, though my garden is mostly shady. And mulch will cover up some of the green invaders. But only for a while. Others will soon take their place. If I let them grow wild and don’t pull them out as soon as they pop up, they will soon choke out the beauty and the fragrance of my garden.
Finding God in the Garden of Our Lives
That’s true of our spiritual gardens as well: in our marriage, our relationships, our family–no matter where, God will guide us and help us to weed our gardens.That’s true of my spiritual garden as well. Think about these areas of life and the power of weeds left untended:
Putting self first, ignoring our mate’s needs, allowing other priorities to sneak in, failure to nurture each other, or neglecting the power of prayer and oneness in the relationship are just a few of the weeds that can destroy a marriage.
Giving family last place, failing to nourish and guide children, ignoring spiritual instruction, allowing work, hobbies, or other activities to crowd out quality time, or pushing performance rather than character building can all destroy the blossoming beauty of our children.
Thoughts and Words
The heart is like a wild garden. Unwholesome or angry thoughts can lead to ungodly weeds of hurtful words and destructive actions. Who wants those kind of plants growing perennially in their gardens?
Hate, revenge, pride, or unforgiveness grow ugly weeds. Left to grow on their own, they will consume the most beautiful of relationships in record time.
Whether married or single, no matter how much time we spend in Bible study, prayer, or quiet moments reflecting about God, we can succumb to weedy temptations if we don’t root them out as soon as they appear. Allowing the Holy Spirit to check our hearts daily and keep the beauty of our relationship with Jesus growing strong through confession and praise is a great “organic” weed killer.
Maintaining Beautiful Gardens
I’m not fond of weeding my gardens. But I’ve seen the result of weeds left untended up close and personal. I know their destructive power both in my backyard garden, and in the garden of my heart. I refuse to allow what God has planted to die an unnatural death, simply because of my laziness or neglect.
If I feel too weak to pull out the most powerful weeds with deep roots, I won’t hesitate to cry out to Jesus for help.
My Perennial Prayer
I want my marriage and home to keep the fragrance of God’s beauty in every room. I want my family to experience God’s extravagant love and grace and to guard against unhealthy priorities. I desire for every relationship God brings into my life to reflect Jesus. And my constant, perennial prayer is that God would make me aware of anything in my life that would keep my spiritual growth dwarfed or overtaken by harmful weeds.
This year, and every year, my prayer for you is that you will enjoy the beauty of springtime in your heart (and in your garden if you have one) that God wants for you. Our “gardens” all look different. But God created them to reflect His workmanship.
God Is Always Waiting to Help
One thing I can always count on: I always find God waiting in my garden, eager to help me.
How is your garden growing?
…thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins (Proverbs 24:31, NIV).
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail (Isaiah 58:11, NIV).
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener” (John 15:1, NIV).
How is your garden growing? How do you weed your garden?
You can find out about more helps about finding God in these blogs: Finding God in the Outdoors, Finding God in the Outdoors – Private Sanctuaries, and Finding God in the Outdoors – His Creativity.