A few years ago we planted a garden in our front yard. We took up a portion of the lawn and dug up the grass. We then planted seeds and bulbs with the hope that flowers would grow.
After planting we did not just sit back, watch and wait for flowers to pop out of the ground. Even after the initial preparation was done we still needed to water, tend and feed the plants. To see growth from tiny little seeds to the beautiful flowers that God intended required our hard work. In order for a garden to flourish it needs care and planning.
Those who garden are familiar with the weeding, cultivating and protecting of the plants involved. It can involve pain but is worth it. If we just stand still and choose to let the garden go on its own, what happens? It is always the weeds that benefit and the good things that suffer. Why is it that cotton candy bushes don’t spread naturally but poison ivy does, anyway? Standing still in the garden is an invitation for disaster.
When we were diligent with tending to the front garden that we planted, God provided beautiful colors and shapes for our joy and pleasure. When life got a bit hectic and we fell behind, weeds suddenly flourished and began to squeeze the life out of the flowers.
The Christian life is very similar. We are either going forward and headed toward the production of fruit of the Spirit in our lives or we are going backwards and being threatened with being overtaken by weeds. There is no treading water possible.
Jesus said that He came to give us life abundantly, but He never said it would not take work on our part. He is the one that gives us the seed, makes the sun shine and makes the flowers grow. Without Him no amount of work would matter. But we are charged with doing the simple things that help the growth along and prevent the weeds from taking over.
Just like with a garden, planning, tending and protecting our walk is necessary to allow beautiful fruit to grow and flourish. Distractions from the world can very easily allow ivy and weeds to strangle it out.
So take time today to do your tending. Plan out your time with the Lord in worship, prayer and Bible reading. Then follow the plan. Pull out any weeds that have crept in before they get hard to deal with. Feed your soul with the Word.
Then watch as the Lord causes beauty, colors and wonderful fruit in our lives.