Tag: garden

Roots, Fruits, & Getting it Right

I’ve made it no secret that I’m loving me some amateur gardening. My wife and I have tinkered with raised bed gardens now for a few years. We’ve moved the garden, planted different vegetables, started from seeds, started from plants, experimented with fertilizers, sprayed for deer, thrown oranges at deer (and hit them, thank you very much), and had a blast doing it.

But do you know one thing that’s never happened?

We’ve never had a plant that shot its roots towards the sky and its fruit down into the ground.

We’ve never had to say,

Aww shucks (because that’s what gardeners say…), this plant got it wrong…we need to dig it up and turn it over.

Wouldn’t it be weird to see roots growing towards the sky? To have to dig into the ground to get your fresh tomatoes? To wonder, when you planted your squash, whether the plants would guess, correctly or incorrectly, which direction was “up” and which was “down”?

Plants grow the “right” way because God intended them to grow that way. Science may have pinpointed the reason why this happens, but that doesn’t discount the hand of God to sovereignly direct things for His good and our benefit.

The crazy plant

I wonder how often a plant questions its Maker, though.

Wow, how great would it be for me to do things my way? I so hate growing towards the sun. If I could only sink my flowers down deep into this dark soil, things would be much better.

Ridiculous, no? We all know that that won’t work. Roots have to go into the soil. Fruit grows in the sun. (well…unless you’re a potato. But that’s another post for another day) It doesn’t work if this process is reversed. It’s not how plants are supposed to function.

We’re like a crazy plant

We do the same thing, though, in our lives, when we think we know better than God. We ignore the full life that God offers us. We go at life our own way, ignoring the wisdom God offers through others, through Scripture, and through life experiences. We think that we must know better. That our way must be the best. That roots don’t grow deep into the soil. That our roots need a bit of sunshine, and our fruit a bit of darkness.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12)

But life doesn’t always happen as we’d like it to, does it? What we thought would happen by the time we turn 25 hasn’t. We’re not married. Or we don’t have children. Or we’re not in our dream job yet. Or we don’t have a house. Or we don’t have much money. Or we haven’t finished our degree. Or our dad still doesn’t want a relationship with us. By 40, our kids don’t like us. We’re on our 3rd marriage. Still in debt. Still have a dead-end job. Maybe life has left us trashed.

And life itself has stopped making sense.

If God is who He’s claimed He is, our natural inclination would be to accuse, blame, and turn our backs on the One who has created it all.

But let me challenge you with a better way. I think it’s time to trust the Guy who knew us before He crafted us in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16). Who knew what He was doing before we were born.

Even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when things are chaotic. Even when things are falling apart.

The One who created all of this knows what’s best. His perspective is bigger than ours. His ways are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9) His love is deeper than ours. His joy is more full than ours. And He’s able to bring beauty out of ashes. (Isaiah 61:3)

Choose to scream and rail and throw your hands in the air if you’d like.

Or choose to let your roots sink deeper…and let your fruit grow upwards.

 

 

Feeling far from Christ

Did you know that as soon as you pull the fruit off of the vine, it begins to die? Looking at these cucumbers above, you’d think they were healthy, right?  They’re green.  They’re huge.  They’ve got the little prickly things on them.  All evidence points to them being as healthy as any other cucumber.  But notice the stem.  It’s been pulled off of the vine.

Whether we pickle them or put them in a salad, these cucumbers are going to taste fantastic.  They look fine and taste fine…at least for the time being.  Wait a week, though, and they’ll look and taste dead.  Nobody would eat them at that point.  But for now, they look fine.

Since they’ve been removed from the life-giving vine, though, they’re dying.  That process can be slowed by putting them in the refrigerator.  Or even pickling them.  But there’s no doubt that, over time, they’ll be completely dead and shriveled up.  Though it’s not visible or tastable now, these cucumbers are dying because they have nothing that’s giving them life.

“I just feel like I’m not where I once was spiritually.”

Ever uttered those words?  Ever felt like you’re just not as close to Christ as you once were?

Ever feel like that just came out of nowhere in your life?  One day, you and Jesus were inseparable.  The next, you felt like there was a wall between the two of you.  One day, he seemed as real to you as the chair you’re sitting in.  The next, he seemed as real to you as the 2010 pennant that the Cubs will win.

The reason you felt like it crept up on you out of nowhere is the same reason that the cucumber looks fine immediately after taking it from the vine.

It takes a while for it to look and taste dead.

Jesus said:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  -John 15:4-8

The Good News is that you can be grafted right back into that vine (Christ)!  The death process doesn’t have to continue.  It can end right now if you just ask (Matthew 7:7)

Have you removed yourself from the vine?  When did you realize you weren’t connected?

How have you personally plugged back into the vine? What did you do that connected you back with Christ?

**you can see all of the pics of my garden on my Posterous site HERE

 

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