Skip to main content

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.   
1 comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Reasons I Won't Let My Kids Wear Clothes with Skulls on Them

Yesterday I threw out a poll question on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  The poll question asked, "Should Christians wear attire with skulls on it?"  I received some great comments from people with a variety of opinions.  You can read the comments on my timeline from 8/8/13.

My opinion is that Christians should not wear clothes with skulls on them.

I don't have one specific Bible verse that I can use to prove my point.  Jesus never said, "Thou shalt not wear clothes with skulls."  I do however think there are number of conclusions that can be drawn from Scripture that support my opinion.

1.  Jesus does care about the clothes we wear.
I don't believe God's people are free to wear whatever they want.  From the Old Testament all the way through the New Testament you can find Biblical language related to clothes.  There are laws in Leviticus about clothes.  God instructed the OT priests on what to wear don't believe God's people are free to wear wh…

How Stephanie and I Celebrated 15 Years of Marriage

Yesterday Stephanie and I celebrated 15 years of marriage! 
To kick off the festivities, on Wednesday afternoon Stephanie bought a new car from Harry Browns in Faribault. She said good goodbye to the minivan and bought a 2014 Dodge Journey. She picked out a great new vehicle and her dad Ralph channeled his inner New Yorker to haggle us a great price.
We started the day Thursday driving to St. Peter to pick up Isabelle from the "Gustie" Basketball and Leadership camp. She spent 4 days there learning, practicing and having a blast. We celebrated together as a family with some Godfather's Pizza!
After getting back to Northfield I dropped the kids off at some friend's houses so Stephanie and I could be alone together. Having great friends who help with the kids is such a blessing. 
Stephanie had the idea that we should get tattoos together. She didn't have to work hard to convince me! After asking for recommendations on Facebook we decided to check out  Guns and Nee…

Lessons from Mt Everest

It would be great is life was all fun and easy and exciting like glissading down a mountain side.  However life is actually much more like climbing up the mountain.  It is difficult, painful, dangerous and exhilarating all wrapped up into one.
Last Sunday I preached at a church in Northfield and I shared some thoughts about this.  I compared lessons I've learned studying mountain climbing to lessons I've learned living life.  Here are the five things I talked about, along with some accompanying Bible verses.
1. You have to have a goal and you have to work hard towards achieving it, sometimes for a long time ---> Jer 29:10-14  2. You have to expect setbacks (injury, weather, enemies, catastrophe) and roll with them ----> 2 Cor 4:8-10  3. You have to push yourself beyond what you thought possible ----> Phil 4:13  4. In most cases, you need others to help you (guides, logistics, cheerleaders, friends, expedition leader) ----> Heb 10:15   5. You have to acknowledg…