Along with spring and summer comes the beloved gardening season. Our spring days are often filled with weeding, planting, watering, and more! If you see my garden, you know that we put a lot of work into it so that we can adequately feed our family and a food chunk of our friends too.
Working in the garden with your family – or even just planting a few new plants or flowers in pots reminds me of spiritual growth (and do a little spiritual gardening).
Think about it. A growing plant is a very clear picture of how Christians grow in Christ. Jesus loved using nature and gardening illustrations in His parables… Let's expand it..
What three things does a plant need to grow and thrive? Water, sunlight, and soil, of course!
Spiritual Gardening Necessity #1: Soil Plants need a good foundation of soil to start their growth. For Christians, our “soil,” our foundation, is Christ. Christ nurtures us and supports us. He gives us a place to extend our roots in safety.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. – John 15:4(KJV)
Just like a plant needs nutrient rich soil to thrive, Christ gives his children every possible nutrient we would ever need: Peace, Love, Encouragement & Wisdom… and His supplies are unlimited.
Spiritual Gardening Necessity #2: Sunlight What else do plants need to grow? Sunlight. “Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 (KJV)
The Bible is our sunlight. Plants grow towards the light. They long for the warmth and strength that only sunlight can give. As children of God, we should also lean towards the light, His Word, for guidance, and strength. It can give us warmth and comfort in times of struggle, and lead us on the clear path in times of doubt. The Bible is a source of many things we need in our Christian life.
Spiritual Gardening Necessity #3: Water Last but not least, plants need water to sustain them. I like to think of that much-needed water as fellowship with fellow believers. God didn’t intend for us to grow alone, but to be there to encourage each other in Christ.
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. – Matthew 18:20-22(NIV)
We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng. – Psalm 55:14 (NASB)
Fellow believers are meant to come together, loving one another and supporting each other as we grow. Fellowship can be refreshing to a soul, just like water to a plant. It can help us perk up on a particularly draining day or quench a thirst. Water can be a vessel for the nutrients we need to grow.
Don’t Forget the Weeds Now that we’ve talked about the essentials, don’t forget about the “weeds” that can sprout up in our gardens, both in real life and in our spiritual life. Weeds come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. The worst weed in our spiritual gardens, Satan, can sometimes be easy to spot, while other weeds, like wayward friends or feelings of bitterness and anger, can be hard to keep away.
Weeds choke plants, creating an atmosphere where growth can be impossible. Weeds work in our lives much the same way. They distract us from Christ as we pour all our vital nutrients into them instead of our Christian growth. Weeds can crush smaller, weaker plants easily.
I Encourage you to strengthen yourselves with good soil (Christ), sunlight from above (His Word), and refreshing water (fellowship with fellow believers), so you may find yourselves with strong roots that dig into your foundation, and a close spiritual walk with our Father.