Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Ok, ok. I confess: I'm having way too much fun this summer. I spent almost two weeks in Miami with my darlin' husband. Can you guess what I did while he worked? Sweet girl, you know me so well. Yes, I went to the beach everyday! Hey, I've got a nice little tan going on, but my flower garden sure got neglected while I was away.

Especially my pretty petunias. Before I left, I pampered these flowers daily. After watering them each morning, I changed the hose from soaker to mist. If there were any wilted petals, I pulled them off carefully. I talked to my petunias. Just kidding! But I did admire them.

They were lovely and healthy when I left...but not so much when I returned.

There was no glorious show of purple and white blossoms, only sickly-looking plants. In order for them to become healthy again, I had to remove whatever was wilted or dead: blossoms, leaves, and stems. And sometimes, I inadvertently broke off a few healthy stems.

Poor petunias! What an awful procedure to have to endure. But if I don't take the necessary steps to help them become well again, bad things will happen. They won't grow or bloom, and they will be susceptible to enemies who will want to devour them.

Funny, how these flowers seem to try and hold on to everything. even if it is no longer any good.

I understand how the petunias may feel. See, several months ago God impressed on my heart that I need to let go. I asked Him: Let go of what, Lord?

He said that He wants me to let go of all that binds me, all that holds me captive, and all the things that I think make me look good.

Whoah! This is heavy. This is impossible. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too.

But our loving God is so good. So gentle. So gracious. He's taking me through this process just like that. Lovingly. Gently. And with grace.

As soon as I'm willing to let go, He removes the thing that is wilted or dead or unhealthy.

Is the procedure painful? Yes. But God is the Master Gardner. He knows exactly when and how and what needs to be removed.

See, my petunias can't be or do what they were created for until the letting go process is complete. They can't bloom. They can't be food for the bees. They can't produce the fragrance that's uniquely theirs.

Neither can we.

God created us to be salt and light and to do good works.

"You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (from Matthew 5: 13-16).

If we're going to fulfill His purpose for our lives, we have to grow. We may have to let go of a few things. Even when letting go is hard and hurts.

So, how is your garden growing?

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  1. Deb,

    This was a powerful post! Great analogy and hoping that God will once more bless you with a beautiful garden.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  2. It's so hard to let go of our own plans, our own expectations, our own desires. But God's plans are always so much better if we give Him a chance!

  3. Have been going through the process for a little while now. We really are kindreds aren't we? Loved this post. xo

  4. Yes, yes, yes!! I know exactly what you mean as I've been going through this for the past several months. I've just never thought of myself as a petunia, though. I love the analogy.

    I hope you had a wonderful time at the beach!

  5. great post Deb! It really spoke to my heart today and I just pray that God continues to use you for His kingdom!

    i pray you had a great time at the beach. one of my favorite places to relax.

  6. What a great post. I am glad you got to go to Miami...that is about 35 miles from my hometown. I was born and raised in West Palm Beach. I love the beach....with all my heart. Before we start back to school I am still hoping to meet you for coffee.

  7. Found your blog through Sarah's and man am I glad I did. This is exactly what I am struggling with now, that is, letting go of what is binding me, hurting me and keeping me from growing. Sometimes I forget that I am not the only one who struggles...

  8. what a great analogy...I see Lily found you too and that makes me so happy. You inspire so much and have an awesome way of writing that hits home. ☺

  9. Letting go is hard... especially when it comes at the hands of our loving Lord. His pruning never feels good at the time, but the blossom is beautiful. Working on my internal garden this summer with Jesus. It's been painful, sister, but I'm trusting in God for the results.


  10. I can identify with this right now. God is so faithful to help us, gently, as he leads us and grows us.. I'm so thankful for that.

  11. Glad you had the chance to be at the beach... and that you were able to share here that great lesson on letting go anything that hinders our growth.

    I am excited to see what new thing the Lord will give you in exchange for what you have given up!


  12. Oh, man - do I ever feel like a dead Petunia! I need some fresh dirt, a healthy gulp of water, and I suppose some pruning as well.....

  13. We went to the beach and we're still looking for 1/2 of our vegetable garden! Thankfully, we can find the tomatoes!

    I have missed you. I am glad you are back.

    God did a lot of pruning this last year. Of course, taking you from one state to another, from a support system to none - that's major pruining. But, like my Japanese Maple one year after a major ice storm, and we trimmed it back to the ground - it grew back, stronger, just as healthy. I'm standing in faith on that - that I will emerge, stronger and healtier after this major pruning!