Written by Fiona Monaghan
This weekend I was working in my garden planting vegetables. While I was working, a talk I had heard came to mind. In the talk, the teacher painted a picture with words that have stuck with me throughout the year and I wanted to share with you.
A gardener is planting his seeds into the soil and then attaches a picture of what that plant will look like when it comes to maturity; usually the package that the seeds came is attached to a stick at the end of the row.
Imagine the seed is in the ground and wonders what it will look like when it matures. He pokes his head out every once in awhile to look at the picture of the mature plant. “Oh yes! That is what I will look like when I am done growing!”
Even though just a tiny seed with little evidence showing of what he will become, it doesn’t have to do much more than just wait, be patient and become like that picture.
This is much like Jesus’ encouragement to us to abide in the vine making sure we stay attached and in time we shall become mature branches and produce fruit. He used gardening metaphor because he was speaking to agrarian culture where they knew planting, reaping, and harvesting terms. We are encouraged to produce Fruit of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control.
This fruit or character traits don’t come easy to us. We experience a tug of war from all the opposite traits. But, the promises are there for us -“Christ in you, the hope of Glory” “Abide in me and I will abide in you …” “ Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives…” We are asked to join God in the work that he is already accomplishing all around us, and how best to be of help but to exhibit the fruit we are asked to exhibit.
Jesus is our model. He is the picture on the seed packet. He lived the character we are asked to exhibit. Not only that, he promises to empower us with his Spirit, to become all that we can be.
Take a moment and write a down a couple verses of Jesus’ words (ex: “If God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you?” Matthew 6:30; “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me” Mark 9:37;“I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you” Luke 6:27-28). Spend a week looking at them, soaking them in, activity applying them to your life. Jesus challenges us to grow and by continually looking to him and his lessons we will keep our eyes focused on him.