I finished putting in my impatiens out front today, although there remain a few left in my flat. The ones that are seen here were placed in a spot that was flowerless for a long time. I thought it was time to bring it some life again. A friend encouraged me to do this very thing, bring my house, my garden beds, back to life.
Maybe at that time, I believed I just couldn't because of a dark and seemingly endless winter. But I was reminded: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," as it says in Philippians 4: 13.
Now, the Lord is restoring me to good health, vitality and His Joy. Praise Him! The sight of the flowers makes me happy. My gardening will never be elaborate, and my home will never be either. But I like what it says in I Timothy 6: 6-8:
verse 6: Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
verse 7: For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.
verse 8: And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
Pretty flowers on top of all spiritual and material blessings are just an overflowing abundance. Thank you Lord.
Even those flowers exist to glorify Him, as all His Creation does. I think the animals understand this even though people often times don't.
As I was working again, pulling out more weeds and dealing with different soils I again thought about how relative this gardening lesson was to my own life. I found an old rusty nail today. What does rust represent? Corruption. Jesus told us what rust did to treasures:
Matt. 6:19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 6:20 "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal."
All the things the world promise us end up being corruption if you follow after them thinking they will bring you happiness. There is only one way to find true happiness, and it is not through fame and fortune. Have you learned that yet? I hope so. It is a deception that will only leave you unfulfilled at the end. But I love this promise from God:
Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD makes [one] rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.
Let's get back to our parable in Matthew 13 though. According to Jesus in Matthew 13: 5, seed sown in stony soil does not produce fruit because its unable to form roots. When I consider that He meant that the seed is the precious Word of God, I don't won't to have stony soil in my heart so it is unable to receive it. That means I must be searching my heart, as David prayed in Psalm 139: 23-24. He was not afraid to beseech God to do this, because he realized that God already knew with Perfect Knowledge what was in his (David's) heart anyway. We can't hide anything from the Lord, so why not come clean with Him?
Some of the seed also fell among thorns. The definitions of a thorn (akantha) include 1) thorn, bramble and 2) bush, brier, a thorny plant (from http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G173&t=NKJV ) I was pulling out lots of dead grass and weeds today before I could put in some of the new plants. Soon I had a pile of weeds, stones and dead roots and dried out grass. If I hadn't pulled these out, Jesus said in verse 7 they would have choked out my tender new ones. I could definitely see why. You have to make room for the new roots and you can't if the old ones are still in there, fighting for dominance. You can't have room for both. Do we want His thoughts (which lead to the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22) or do we want it our way, leading to carnal death and being an enemy of God? (Philippians 3:18)?
Finally. the last soil spoken of by Jesus is described as being "good." The word is kalos and the first definition given is: ) beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2570&t=NKJV Now I sure would like to hear that spoken to me at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but even Paul wasn't sure until the very end of his life that he would be a winnner on That Day.
Matt. 13:8 "But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Matt. 13:9 "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
So that is the last word here for this post. I ask myself first, and then I ask anyone who may be reading: Do I have ears to hear? Do you?
I think about that every time I get so stressed that I start forgetting things and realize I am trying to do way too much and remind myself that Mary was the one Jesus commended, not Martha, even though she was running around in a frenzy trying to serve Him. (See Luke 10: 38-42)