“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”—Hosea 10:12, ESV
I don’t have a green thumb.
It’s not even green-ish.
My hubby bought me a plant decades ago when we were dating as a gift for my new apartment. I gave it to my mom to resuscitate after I nearly killed it.
Several years ago, my daughter bought me a bamboo plant for Mother’s Day. I cherished that plant. Sadly, I recently had to remove it from life support.
Over the years, people have sent me flowers for various occasions. Those flowers only saw a full life because my husband eventually became their caregiver.
Despite my own history with plants, I have gleaned wisdom from someone who finds solace in gardening. Below is a piece written by my friend Frances J. Tibbs from her unpublished collection, Lessons From the Garden.
“Uprooted” (Working Title) by Frances J. Tibbs
When I was weeding an area in my garden, it took a few different tools to get the deep-rooted thistle out. Those roots of that weed had grown deep, and they were not coming out of that soil without a fight.
I walked back into the garage to get a manual tiller, one of those tools that will involuntarily help you build upper body strength. See, I’m increasing my upper body strength, doctor!
Okay . . . back to the soil and the thistle. Like the roots of a pulled tooth, they go deep. Only when twisting the digger, alternating to the right and the left, was I able to dislodge the thistle.
I reflected on the soil, the weeds, and the tools.
After my hard work, the soil became rich and pliable, ready for a plant. The plant would easily thrive. It would get the morning sun. That beautiful plant would not have been able to blossom to its fullest potential if the soil hadn’t been tilled . . . broken up, weeded to be ready for planting.
The soil had been allowed to do what soil does best . . . be the base that holds the new plant, nourishing it from the bottom where the roots are. Good soil allows the roots to spread out and get stronger, producing a beauty that will cause the eye to feast and get full.
How is your soil?
Do the roots of your habits grow strong?
Will they need more tools to help new growth begin?
Did your spiritual muscles get stronger?
Have you become a beauty . . . a feast of the eyes?
Are you positioned in the Son?
Is the light of the Savior shining upon you, nourishing you?
Are you growing upward toward the standard the Father has set forth?
As a result of your weeding, your dirty work, as you were digging deep to get your thick roots of that “besetting sin” out of the soil of your heart, are you planted firmly in the soil of the Savior?
Are you blooming where you’re planted?
Are you propagating? Increasing your territory?
Ready to be put in a bigger garden next year and outgrow that space to one even bigger?
Most importantly, are you opening your heart to the Master Gardener?
Get your gloves on because your hands are going to get dirty!
Reading this made me ask myself, Are you ready for God to till those places where it may hurt for the soil to be disturbed? We all have those areas in our lives . . . the places that we might prefer remained undisturbed for whatever reason. Maybe we’re not ready for the work involved. Maybe we’re not sure what all will need to be uprooted, and the unknown scares us. Here’s the thing . . . if we are to be like Jesus, He will need to uproot and replant some things within us. So, with a deep breath, closed eyes, and lifted hands, I say, Okay, Lord. Have Your way with me!
About Frances J. Tibbs
FRANCES J. TIBBS is a creative educator, mentor, and coach from Columbus, Ohio. Her passion for working with children began when she was in her youth and worked as a babysitter. Frances enjoys advocating for young children and the teachers who provide positive learning experiences for them. She
delights in nurturing children, adults, ideas, and everything green that grows in her garden. She began her journey with the Lord in elementary school and continues to walk out her faith, believing passionately that God will never leave or forsake her (Deuteronomy 31:6). Her greatest blessings in life call her “MoMo.”
Frances is also a contributor to Connecting with Christ: 52 Weekly Devotionals to Nurture Spiritual Growth.