“Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:18
It is said that confession is good for the soul, so I confess upfront that gardening has never been one of my greatest assets. So-so lawn … so-so flowerbeds …vegetable garden not so much!
Long after we are done, the seeds we plant both in our own hearts and in the hearts of children will hopefully bring in time something that can impact others for generations to come.
Only eternity will tell the full story, but there can be chapters written and unfolding before our eyes that help us smile and yes, even cry. Yet, we must keep working diligently to become even better spiritual gardeners.
Some who attempt to become gardeners even on small scale are more effective than others for various reasons.
- Granted the type of soil they are working with can make a difference.
- Every effort must be made to help the tiny seed … then sprouting plant, to grow healthy and productive.
- This process happens through nurturing and carefully tending to the soil, removing the weeds that drain the soil of any nutrients and rob the plant itself of the ability to grow and mature.
We all understand that any gardening effort that simply leaves the planted garden to take care of itself will probably end in failure and disappointment.
Parenting can be compared to gardening if you think about it on so many levels. Since our little ones have been entrusted to our care by God, we need to pause from to time and evaluate our gardening abilities as parents and grandparents.
As important as it is to see little ones learn how to walk, talk, read and write, communicate with others in a courteous and kind way, and to live and function in the world they live in … spiritual growth and development far surpasses these, does it not?
It was our Lord Himself who cautioned in Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
Our primary responsibility to our kids is to raise them up in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
We all want our children and grandchildren to grow up “in the Lord” and with “the mind of Christ.” Therefore we must do our part by planting the right seeds in their heart and everything we can to help them become what God wants them to become.
But we cannot give away to others what we do not possess ourselves!
When someone plants a garden or attempts to put in a new yard they cannot afford to be skimpy and water only occasionally. It is the same with our kids. Bible Classes … worship services … same-age devotionals all have their place. But there is no replacement for God’s directive revealed through Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
May the legacy we leave to our families, friends, brethren and those who know us in this world be that of faithfulness to God.
Bill Fairchild, Jr.
P.S. I have learned that one such gardener passed from this life into God’s rest yesterday and she shall surely be missed. Sister Amy Coffey exemplified these qualities throughout her life, planting the right seeds in so many hearts, leaving just such a legacy. I will always remember her as a happy, hard-working fellow laborer in our work with young people. Amy was a sweet jewel!!!