Growing Season

DSCN1449You may be like me and have been busy getting your garden ready to plant for the growing season. It’s kind of amazing how much work needs to be done ahead of time. Depending on how you are getting started determines a lot on how much work and the time you need to be ready for growing and then harvesting. Now you know I’m not going to be talking about gardening only but I’m hoping to relate this whole process to our spiritual growth as believers in Jesus Christ.

I haven’t been a gardener all my life, in fact it’s only been about ten years since I’ve gotten really involved in it. The decision to start a garden came out of a desire to have some fresh produce and to save some money. Maybe the challenge of growing a garden and having less lawn to cut played a part in it too but I don’t think I got very philosophical about it, my parents gardened for as long as I can remember and I figured I would give it a try too. When I got started I was surprised by all the work that needed to be done to get to the point where I was happy with my garden! First I had to decide where I wanted the garden and how large it would be. It took a lot longer to get the ground ready, I had to use the roto-tiller to break up the ground. Oh, I thought that was going to be no problem. NOT, it was hard work. The turf was thick grass and deep roots. The previous owners had put in a special grass that produces thick root systems to keep out weeds. Good for a nice lawn, bad for making a garden.

I haven’t been a Christian all my life. I came to know Jesus as LORD when I was in my twenties. At first I thought it would be easy. I had gone to church with my parents, I had been to services, bible classes, I even took communion on Sundays, and I thought I knew how to do this. Surprise, surprise the struggle was on from the moment I said yes to Jesus. My friends thought I was nuts. My parents thought I had rejected them and their parenting skills, my siblings thought I was just on a new fad. The friends made it hard, I had to break up some old ground with them. I had to change some of the things I use to do that I learned would hinder my growth as a believer in Jesus Christ.

Life as you know has a lot of “roots” in it. Like the roots in the turf of my garden I had to break it up and remove the clumps of turf. I couldn’t leave those clumps there, they would have re-rooted and started growing again. I found that some of the things I did, things I read, music I listened to, people I associated with, all had to be evaluated, then removed as needed, to make sure I could succeed in this new way of life. This was HARD work, I didn’t want to do it but I knew that it had to be done. Like a garden if you know you have sin, rebellion, and unbelief in your life, it can re-root and choke out your faith. Jesus shared this principle in the parable of the Sower in the Gospel of Matthew 13: 22-23.

The seed sown among thorns is the person who hears the word, but worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth choke the word, so it produces nothing.  But as for the seed sown on good soil, this is the person who hears the word and understands. He bears fruit, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

So you can see seed grown among thorns which can be a lot of things in our life do have a choking effect on our spiritual life and growth. But seed grown in good soil which means we are taking steps to be a good garden of the mind, body, and spirit, has an excellent place to grow and to produce a great harvest.

Gardening doesn’t just start with breaking up the ground. Next you have to check the soil condition and adjust it as needed, then plant your seeds and plants at the right time, then water,weed, and feed them until harvest time. Spiritual growth is very similar. It was exciting to start my garden but it didn’t end there. I prepared the soil with some peat moss and fertilizer. It was exciting to be a young believer, I met new friends, heard great teaching, went to awesome conferences, went on retreats. I would read my bible, study it daily, pray and worship. I couldn’t get enough of God’s Word. I was growing in amazing ways of understanding God’s Word, my faith in him, and learning to love others. It was exciting to grow.

Not all growing seasons are the same but growth is the key word here. We have to cultivate a spiritual growth in Jesus Christ based on His principals not ours or the world’s. It’s not by doing good works, it’s by grace in Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross. His forgiveness of our sins, not our abilities to try and make things right. There is all kinds of soil out there that His seed falls on but only that “good” soil lets that seed grow in such a way as to produce an abundant harvest.

Cultivate a garden in your body, mind, and spirit that is ready for God’s seed. Faith in Jesus Christ is not a temporary thing it’s for a life time, your season of life.

Your brother in Jesus,

Giovanni Soto

One Comment

  1. CFC says:

    testing comments

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