Matthew 13: 1-9 "But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root." (v. 6)
I looked at my pitiful garden this morning with disdain. I have struggled and struggled to have the green thumb that my father has, my grandfather had, and my nana had. The most I seem to get out of what I grow is a few sad looking tomatoes and some herbs. This morning I was so discouraged by my lack of gardening skills, I wanted to just kick the half-dead plants and throw my hands up in the air. Everyone else seems to have flourishing gardens in this same, neverending scorching summer, why did my little garden not do well?!
I went back to my kitchen, got a cup of coffee, and stared out the window at my garden trying to decide my next best step. Then God's word came to mind. Jesus gave the Parable of the Sower as an example of how people respond differently to hearing His truth. For some, the Truth will land on some well-prepared soil, and they will immediately flourish, take root, and produce fruit. For others, the Truth will land on some rocky soil. The Truth will struggle to break through, but temptations and selfish desires will keep the Truth from really growing and little to no fruit will be produced. And finally, there are those that the Truth will be presented, but then completely rejected. The soil is not prepared. It's not willing to accept something that is so good! Jesus says they will wither because they have no root. My garden is like that second (and possibly third) group. Because the soil isn't just right, the possibility of good fruit to come from it is little to none.
All of this made me examine my spiritual garden. When God's Word is presented to me, have I prepared to accept what God has for me? Have I made my spiritual soil ready? If so, are there fruits? Do others see God's love through me? I do not want my spiritual garden to look anything like my shabby garden in the backyard. I want to produce fruit that will encourage others to also produce fruit.
Lord, you know my faults. You know how often I fail you. My worst moments seem to be when I am furthest from you. Guide me closer to you. Help me to prepare my spiritual garden for the Truth you want to plant there. And let others see your fruit through me. May others also desire you and produce fruit. In your name, Amen.