I’m not a green-fingered gardener, but there is something beautiful about well-maintained gardens and the nature of gardening. I’ve been following Monty Don presenting Gardeners’ World on the BBC iPlayer over the past couple of months, and I’m fascinated by the multitude of lush green plants and colourful flowers that are grown and presented throughout the duration of the series.

I am relatively new to the world of gardening. However, I personally would love to grow my own fruit and vegetables, and even raise a few hens and chase them round the garden, as they fluster their feathers and lay eggs.

I did not know that there are different types of soil that is used for plants at various stages of their sprouting nature. We once grew a strawberry patch many years ago – one of my favourite fruits, and I was always amazed at the spectacle that edible fruit grew in our back garden. The most excruciating part of gardening I found hard to muster, was to wait for the seed to take shape and flourish at the right season in the best conditions possible.

The Christian life is like a garden – more like a wild and exotic garden. As you know, there are dozens of agricultural references and imagery mentioned in the Bible. The Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed (Mark 4:1-20) is a symbolic story that proclaims the richness of the seeds being planted on good soil, and I want to focus on the last few passages of Scripture from that very parable.

The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” -Mark 4:18-20 (NLT)

After reading Mark 4:18-20, most Christians can relate in experiencing both fertile soil, and ground where we can easily be chocked by the desires and opinions of the world. But it is the good soil that we must strive to pursue.

Only the good soil is full of richness and nutrients that will help nourish our roots and strengthen during the quarterly seasons we experience each year. After all, you wouldn’t want to plant a new shoot on bad soil, or on dry ground without water and food. The same can be said when you raise your first child. You naturally want the very best for that child, because this little beauty of creation came from you – just like we were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). It’s only natural that we feel the desire to grow close with the LORD in prayer and devotion and worship.

And just like gardening, we need to commit time to plant ourselves with the Living God in His Living Word and live out a life that is pleasing in Him. It’s far too easy these days that we become consumed and distracted by material things that we whither our thoughts from fruitless worries, and self-indulge to our hearts content. Let us be encouraged to plant a small seed in the LORD, and expect a harvest of blessings, and give thanks for all that He has done for us – and wait on Him.

~Richard