I absolutely love pretty gardens! There is such a wonderful peace and joy I feel when I get to walk through a beautiful display of colourful flowers, sweet smelling grass, and tall leafy trees that make a canopy of green over my head. Even a walk through a natural forest or African bush veld can be extremely therapeutic and a real treat to all my senses!
The only downside is that as much as I LOVE beautiful gardens, I'm really no good at gardening. I was not blessed with so-called 'green fingers'. If a pot plant is left under my care, unless it's of the synthetic kind, trust me, it's not going to make it. And it's not for lack of trying either. I'm probably just not cut out for gardening, but I believe I make up for it in the 'appreciation' department. My family and I had the privilege of visiting Vail, Colorado one summer. Oh my goodness, did I live up to my 'appreciation' skill then! I spent delightful hours snapping pictures of the most brilliant scenery I have ever seen! The mountains came alive, not with the sound of music, but with colour! It really was a feast for my eyes! Even in the village itself, everywhere I looked were flower boxes overflowing with gorgeous flowers of magnificent colours! There was beauty all around me, every step I took! Now that is some pretty skilful gardening if ever I have seen it.
Having said all that, throughout the Bible, we find reference to gardening too. Mark 4:26 is only one of many examples of this. It says, "...the kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed upon the ground,...". Now, of course, as we have already established, I'm certainly not an expert on gardening, but I do know enough to understand that before a beautiful garden can exist, there has to be a seed. Inside one tiny seed is everything necessary for the life and abundant beauty of a garden. And once that seed is put into the ground, it will keep on producing after its own kind.
Now, in the New Testament, the Word of God is likened to a seed. 1 Peter 1:23, says God's Word is an incorruptible seed that lives forever. Since we know the Word of God is His infinite wisdom and carries His life and peace; when it's planted into the soil of our hearts, it's going to reproduce that very same nature inside of us! This excites me tremendously! Do you know why? It proves that human nature is subject to change! That's right! According to scripture, there is a process called transformation that is expected to take place in every believer, when God's Word is planted into our hearts.
You see, at salvation, our spirits took on an immediate transformation when God's Spirit took residency in it, but our minds and bodies didn't. According to Romans 12:1,2, that transformation must still take place and it's our responsibility to do it, through the Word of God!
Which means, from the moment of our salvation, until we go to heaven, we have some gardening to do! If we are unhappy about the state of our lives, if there is an area that we long to see changed, I want to show you that it really is possible, through God's Word, to transform it from an ugly, hopeless state, to one of magnificent beauty. Every gnarly, thorny bush can be pulled out and replaced by a beautiful, leafy oak. It just requires some diligent gardening in the area of our minds. I say this because the mind is the control centre of our lives. The thoughts and emotions that we allow to grow and thrive are the ones that set our path in life. The Bible says, "...as a man thinketh, so is he...".
According to God's Word, we can transform the gardens of our minds by ridding them of every negative, depressive thought that triggers off a hurtful emotion and replacing it with God's very own thoughts of life, peace and hope. To begin with, we need to see what God's Word says about us and replace our wrong thinking with His truth. We need to get the seed of God's Word into our hearts! Look what Proverbs 24:3 and 4 says, "Through skillful and godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation], And by knowledge shall its chambers [of every area] be filled with all precious and pleasant riches." (Amplified).
We can have every area of our lives transformed to display God's precious and pleasant riches of His grace, mercy and loving kindness. His goodness can be seen in every aspect of who we are, if we choose to let His Word be planted and rooted in us.
So ladies, let's begin the gardening process today! With the help of the precious Holy Spirit, examine your life. See if there is an area that you know you need to see changed. Then go to the nursery or garden centre, of God's Word and find the seed that will produce the results you want to see. His Word will have His perspective concerning that area of your life. When you find that promise, begin to meditate on it, don't just agree with it, see it as being a part of your life.
When we take the promises or principles from God's Word, we need to believe that they are His will for us! The Bible teaches us that ALL His promises are YES and AMEN for those who are in Christ and BELIEVE (2 Corinthians 1:20). In other words, we need to settle in our hearts that there is no debating or arguing the matter, if God's Word says it, that settles it, this is the new me! This is how my garden is going to grow!
This is the first step of our gardening process, planting the seed of God's Word in our hearts.
In the next letter, we'll look at other steps, to get the gardens of our lives growing beautifully. Until then, keep spending time finding the 'seeds' from God's Word that you want to see bloom and blossom and bear fruit in your life. When you do, remember to not just read them or memorise them, actually meditate on them and make them yours! If you feel free to share, I'd love to hear which ones you have chosen to beautify your life with!
A really great place to get you started is Psalm 103:2-5. Oh, and Psalm 1 will be a great place to encourage you, as we begin our gardening/transformation process together!
Until next time, happy gardening!