The other day I visited a friend who was working on his garden. He’s trying to get his rose bushes back into fighting shape, but he’s not having much luck. In fact, he’s resorted to using a product called “weed and feed” designed specifically to help kill the weeds around the plant while at the same time helping nourish the rose bush’s ability to grow. And that idea reminded me of this Bible verse: “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
I’ve read other translations that put it like this – “You are God’s garden.” In the letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians, Paul calls us to be “grounded” in Christ. Now, on the surface, thinking of ourselves as gardens or plants might not be the most flattering way to illustrate our relationship with God. But I started thinking about it differently when I realized that gardens don’t grow if they’re left alone. They need to be tended. A garden needs a Gardener. And in our case, that Gardener is our Triune God.
You see, the gardener plants the bushes, flowers and grass where it should be. The gardener makes sure to give the garden the right amount of sunlight and perfect amount of water. And it is the gardener who ends up down on his hands and knees pulling out the weeds and making sure that each seed has been properly planted.
It’s the same in our own lives. God our Father is always eager to provide the nourishment we need so that we can mature into healthy and strong Christians. And just like a garden’s plant life reflects the effort of the gardener, we reflect and magnify the glory of our gracious and merciful creator God.
My friend is still working on his garden. Maybe the next time I see him, I’ll remind him that God will never stop working on all of us – nourishing us and bringing all creation into his presence.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.