I love being in my little garden because it frequently ‘speaks’ to me. Does your garden talk to you? It teaches me about life – giving a clearer understanding of how things work in matters of the heart. If you spend much time out in your garden to you often it hear it ‘talk’ to you and what does it say?
When I first began digging the space in my yard I call my garden I worked hard to break up the dry ground seen in the picture. The thought occurred to me while blisters were forming on my hands, that this ground was much like how my heart used to be. My heart, many years ago was hard and dry making it difficult for anything new to grow in my life. It certainly was not soft and open to new growth of any kind.
Though, I had worked hard to get the ground turned up in preparation, it still had a long way to go before it would be ready to plant anything. I was motivated to stay with it, because I was anticipating seeing my garden full of organic vegetables and was excited about being able to share with them with everyone.
While I was digging I was ‘surprised’ to find roots of various sizes. Some of them came up easy and others, not only took a lot of strength but tenacity to cut through. It was hard to tell where the roots began and where they ended, nor was it possible to tell what they were feeding. I just knew that they would be in the way of the new growth that I was planning. As I was working, I begin to consider the idea of roots in my own heart as my garden was talking to me.
Its been well over twenty years now, but as I think back it must have taken Jesus, the Master Gardener a long time to soften my heart so that He could plant seeds of new life in me. After, all these years it didn’t occur to me that I would still have roots of my old life remaining. I have an ugly behavior that doesn’t happen very often, but nevertheless, it seems to be pattern, a pattern that repeats over time. A pattern that is destructive to my personal relationships.
I don’t know why it seems to happen, especially this last time. It came out of the blue and I had no inclination, desire or forethought before it happened, but before I even realized it, the all too familiar damage was done. I was not only surprised but really disappointed in myself. Where had this come from and WHY did I do this again? I had no explanation, justification or excuse and wondered why it even happened again, as its been years since anything like it has occurred. It was something I thought would never happen again. This behavior, which could be called a sin is the fruit of a hidden root in my heart. I was as surprised to find it, as I was to find the roots in the garden I was digging. There may be long periods of time before the fruit grows back, but if it keeps returning there is a root that feeds it. The same is true in the garden, if you want to get rid of what is growing there, picking it only removes it temporarily because with time it will eventually grow back. So to get rid of it completely you must kill the root.
In matters of the heart, self discipline is not the way to keep the fruit from coming back, the only way to get rid of it forever, is to put an axe to its root. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to kill the root of a destructive ‘fruit’ in our lives.
Do you have ‘bitter’ fruit that doesn’t belong in your garden? Do you have a habit, a pattern or behavior that holds you back, weakens your witness and keeps you from overcoming? Examine the fruit and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the root, so the two of you together can put it to death. Then, invite Him to plant the seeds of His life in your garden.