I have started a garden again this Spring. It is not something new I have never attempted before, but each one I do is a new adventure. Not every garden has been successful and I am unsure of how this one will produce either, but what is noticeably different this time is how the Lord has been speaking to me right from the beginning. It took some time but I was surprised to find there were roots in my garden. Are there roots in your garden?
As I broke up the top layer it was hard, long work and as my hands blistered on the shovel I thought I would never finish getting it all turned up. I was surprised by a couple of thoughts. I kept thinking about how hard this top layer was to get through and the tenacity it took to get it to the next stage of preparation. It reminded me of how hard my heart used to be. The Lord had to work hard to get through this outer layer before He could prepare it to receive the seeds He wanted to grow there. Its been many years since then, but I can remember how hard, unbelieving and untrusting my heart used to be. Just like the ground that I have been working has no idea of what I want to grow there, neither did I know what He wanted to grow in my heart.
Another thought that kept occurring to me was really silly! As I dug I discovered roots, which is not unexpected, but not only was I was surprised to find them, but to find how tough they were to remove. It was silly I didn’t consider that roots would be growing where I was digging and should not have been surprised by them at all, but I was! I couldn’t tell where they began and where they ended, but knew they couldn’t stay because they would be a hindrance to what I would be planting. I guess the first big root that I came across surprised me, because it lay hidden without any prior thought to its existence. We mostly think about the bush, tree, flower, fruit or vegetable that we do see. We consider what we see, more often then what we don’t see, even when what is seen is given life by what is unseen. Once again, this reminds me of my own heart.
I’ve been walking with the Lord a long time and my heart is not the same as it used to be. In fact, my life is not the same as it was way back when He first began breaking through the hard top layer. My life is hardly recognizable. Neither is the place where my new garden is growing. However, not so long ago I behaved in a way that I used to before my heart had been changed. I was shocked, sorry and sickened by what I had done and it seemingly came out of nowhere, leaving me more then a little shaken. How could I have done such a thing, why I hadn’t done something like that in the last twenty years! When I found that first big root it dawned on me. I still have a root in my heart that produces the same old fruit over and over. That root would be particularly damaging to what my heart truly desires. In other words, if I were given the very thing my heart desires it would be ruined, by a root that remains hidden and is still giving life to a pattern that would be destructive. The root in and of itself is not bad, it is just there doing what it is supposed to do, its the life that it supports which must be stopped, so that both the root and the fruit die. It is important for the old to be put to death so that the new can come forth. So to find roots in my garden was surprising, but to find they were in my heart was … well even more surprising! I saw the fruit without realizing there was a big, old, fat, root that lay hidden. It was then, that begin to ask the Lord to remove it.
Jesus, is the Master Gardener and tends many, many, kinds of gardens with various roots, weeds, soil types and such. Not only is He aware of the roots, but He knows how to remove them the right way, at the right time. I don’t know how He will do it, but I do know because I ask, He will uproot and replant, so that what remains will be of His choosing. It will produce the fruit He desires, just like what I desire will grow in my little garden.