How Does Your Garden Grow?

By Mendi Behnen

My grandma grew a “garden” every year. During the depression there were a number of folks who sustained their families by freely picking crops from the acreage that she planted. Most people would have called it a farm, but Grandma called it her “garden”. She loved working in her garden, and it generally produced the best crops in the area. My dad learned well from his mother. At 87 years old, he planted a huge garden that produced enough food for several families. The magnitude of his wisdom with each plant amazed me.

    You see, although I came from a strong heritage of gardening, I was never much of a garden girl. Just looking at the garden made me break out in a rash, so when it was “family time” in the garden, I could always find an indoor chore that really needed to be done. I didn’t observe his expertise as a child or hear his sage advice on how to keep a garden.

    Then one day, as an adult with a child of my own, I had a growing desire to plant my own garden. It was only a 6 foot by 8-foot patch of ground in my back yard, but it looked like it has been a garden space once before, so I thought, “How hard can it be?” I called my dad, made a few notes and planted my seeds in nice, neat rows. Before long there were little seedling popping up everywhere. I was so excited! But wait …these plants were not in my neat little rows. In fact, where were my rows? (I failed to mark them.) Clearly, I would need to pull some weeds… but which ones would those be? They all looked like weeds to me; I could not discern the difference. I pulled a lot of plants that year and had a bountiful crop of weeds until the true plants began to bear fruit.

    I could have saved myself a great deal of time and heartache if I had treasured my father’s instructions when I was young. If I had been attentive and listened in those early days, I would have been much more discerning and made better choices when it came to weed pulling. Oh, how true this is in all of life. The good thing is that when it comes to life, it is never too late call on God and ask Him for discernment and wisdom in the choices we make. No matter how “weedy” your garden has gotten, God would love to give you the wisdom to discern what will truly bear fruit in your life and what is just crowding out that fruit. Meet Him in His Word today and ask for His guidance …then treasure what He tells you with obedience!

Proverbs 2:1-6

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