Gardeners Together

My Dear Friends,

 

These days, there are always roses blooming in gardens. Some have been beautiful for a while. Others are just beginning to show themselves as young blooms. Still others are only buds, having merely the potential of future splendor.

 

The beauty of our gardens focuses our attention on the process of growing the flowers. The ground must be maintained, the plants pruned, the weeds removed, and the soil watered. Even with all this work, it is still a bit of a mystery to us precisely when a plant will grace us with a bloom or when it will decide to die. I guess it’s fair to say that some aspects of gardening are out of our control.

 

The church is a garden. We are both sowers of seed and nurturers of the growth that takes place. Because of our work, we are fortunate to see some breathtaking examples of God’s handiwork. In fact, we see these at all stages of growth. For example, we often dedicate children to the Lord. Of course, we see our young ones come to the faith requesting baptism and church membership. On other days, we acknowledge the passing of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

So it is in the garden of the church. Just as we cannot decide when a little one should publicly declare her faith, neither can we decide when others should be gathered to God.

 

We are gardeners together. By God’s grace, we are allowed to share in the beauty of the flowers around us. While we can and should contribute to their growth; ultimately, we must acknowledge a force greater than ourselves, whose prerogative it is to decide when a flower must bloom and when it must fade. In this sense, our garden teaches us to yield. It reminds us that we are often just observers, and at best, participants in the horticultural miracles we survey.

 

Have you acknowledged God’s desire for you to participate in His garden? Do you realize your opportunity to contribute to His work? Have you accepted your inability to control some of life’s outcomes?

 

It seems to me that one of the most important steps in gardening is to accept the one who really makes the garden grow. Sounds like a pretty good definition of faith, doesn’t it?

 

I hope to see you in the garden this summer,

 

Doug