Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Slow Process of Soul Gardening




John Starke recently tweeted,

“From what I can tell, all the biblical imagery for spiritual growth and maturity are slow things: seeds to trees, infants to adults.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about this ever since I read it.  I think it is especially on mind since I’ve recently planted a couple tomato plants and a small garden at my house.  

 I call it “Suburban Farming.”   

It has been a lot of fun to build some garden beds, haul in the compost, learn from good friends (like this guy) and plant some seeds with my daughter Isabelle.

What I’m seeing, and what is obvious, is that there is nothing fast about gardening.  You can’t plant fast, you can’t water fast, you can’t grow fast, and you can’t harvest fast.  Gardening takes time.  It takes patience and it takes a little faith that the small seed you put in the dirt will one day produce a crop.  John Starke is right; spiritual growth is just like this.   

You can’t rush sanctification and holiness. 

Growing into biblical maturity takes time.  I’ve been following Jesus for most of my 34 years on this earth and I still am a long way from where I want to be.  The encouraging part however, is that when I look back I can see I am also a long way from where I used to be.  

When I look out at my garden I wish I could see more growth, more quickly.  I get so excited when a leave breaks through the soil crust or when a small tomato begins to hang from the vine.  There is a great feeling of anticipation associated with waiting to enjoy the ‘fruit’ of your labor. 

I encourage you to view your spiritual growth and maturity with the same amount of eagerness and anticipation.  

If you care for your soul, in time, you will see your heart transformed to become more like Jesus and the fruit of a life guided by His Spirit will begin to be evident.   

Activities like reading God’s Word and listening to preaching will water your soul.  Regular introspection and confession and accountability will help you pick any spiritual weeds.  Worship and prayer are like spiritual fertilizer.  Small groups and serving others help build cages of support and protection around you.  Do these things and your soul garden will grow.

Just don’t rush it.  Remember it takes some time for the seeds to grow into trees.   
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