My husband and I have a small vegetable garden at our home. We planted our garden in the spring and we have watched it grow during the past months and now we are reaping the harvest from all of the hard work that we have put into our garden. While looking at the vegetables that we have grown, I began thinking about the transformation that has taken place from the tiny little plants to the much larger plants that are now producing such lush and delicious vegetables.
In my writing I like to make comparisons and analogies. How much are we like a garden? I would like to paint you a picture with my words to help express what I am writing about. If you think about tiny vegetable plants that are first planted in the ground and how tender and delicate they are, then compare that to a young or brand new Christian I think you can see what I am trying to convey. When we first come to know Christ as our Savior, we are just as tender and fragile as newly planted seedlings. We are totally dependent on the Lord and others to make sure that we grow and become stronger in Him.
Every garden needs water, sunlight, and weeding on a regular basis in order to grow. We as Christians need the same things. We need the Word of God, prayer, and we need to keep sin out of our lives in order to grow in Christ. We must spend time reading the Bible to increase our faith. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is imperative that we not only read the Bible for ourselves but that we attend church regularly to hear more of God’s word so that our faith may grow and reach a mature level. We find that Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” The word of God increases faith in a believer when it is read or heard, and that word will cause us to grow just as much as water will bring growth to a garden.
I want to compare the sunlight that a natural garden needs to prayer to the Son that a Christian needs in order to grow. The sun gives the needed vitamins and minerals that plants need to reach maturity and it causes them to yield the vegetables that we enjoy so much. Without sunlight, plants and vegetables will not grow properly. Gardeners always try to plant their gardens in an area that is certain to get plenty of sunlight. We find that Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” This tells us that prayer is necessary for spiritual growth. The Bible also lets us know that it is God’s will for us to pray. I Timothy 2:8 says, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;” Sunlight helps your garden grow just like prayer gives light from the Son to help you grow as a Christian.
Without pulling the weeds from a garden, the plants cannot grow as well as they should because the weeds will steal the nutrients from the soil that should go only to the plants growing in the garden. Sin can do the same thing in the life of someone who is trying to live a Christian life. We must make good choices in our lives in order for growth to come to us. Just as weeds can kill the plants in a garden, Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We should try to live a life that is pleasing to our Lord, a life that is filled with love, kindness, and forgiveness. It is not only immoral acts or behavior that can cause spiritual death. It is also things that we do not do that can cause us, as Christians, to slowly die. We find that James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Imagine a lovely vegetable garden that has been faithfully tended, watered, and weeded; now imagine the ripe and delicious vegetables that are waiting to be harvested. Picture yourself as a garden and ask yourself this question, “How is my garden growing?” Are you getting enough of God’s word? Is your prayer life what it should be? Finally, are you living your life to the best of your ability to please the Lord so that one day you will find yourself in Heaven with Him for eternity?