vegisIN the small city where I live, I have just enough room for a three-foot vegetable garden, all of which I plant with juicy, sun-warmed tomatoes. Yum! But wishing for more room, last week I jumped at a neighbor’s invitation to help plant hers. I also work two hours each week at a nearby farm in exchange for five months of wonderful produce.

With five kids home for the summer, finding time to plant and weed and water can be tough, but each summer that I do I am rewarded not only with a bounty of good, healthy food but with good, healthy wisdom.

You see, life began in a garden. The first work given to humanity was to tend it–even before weeds and wars and all the world’s brokenness. Whether yanking grass from among a fifty-foot row of newly sprouting potatoes or watering my own little tomato patch, caring for creation brings my closer to my Creator. There are lessons there–not just seeds–but lesson hidden beneath the rich brown soil. Kingdom Principals that we can apply to our lives.

Many are found in Scripture.

“Whatever a man sows, that he also reaps.”

And “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

Such words were easily understood by the tillers and planters and harvesters to whom they were first spoken.

But there are also words the Holy Spirit speaks quietly to the heart of one bent and listening. And so it was that, face toward the earth, I planted tiny flecks last week that will become carrots. Beneath an inch of dirt, snug in their dark bed, no one could see the seeds I planted. No sign marked the row. I could call them turnips or cabbage or towering red sequoias. Without digging them up, no one would know what lay beneath until the first tender sprouts appeared.

But the truth will always reveal itself. Once sprouted, the wispy tops of carrots would unveil themselves. There’s no hiding truth. Good–or bad–it won’t stay buried long.

 “You will know them by their fruits,” Matthew 7:16 says, speaking of those who claim to follow Christ yet who plant seeds of deception, sin, and strife.

Such people plant seeds of thorns and weeds, crops that produce pain rather than supporting life.

If you’ve been hurt by such people, I encourage you to find a place of healing where the fruit is good and the garden bountiful. Our plant a garden. Among the rows of green, growing things, meditate there on the Word, the full source of truth. And entrust yourself to the Master Gardener for leading as you seek safe soil in which your soul can grow.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on church or those in it because of a bad experience. A good harvest is coming.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” Galatians 6:9.