How does your garden grow?

I have always wanted to have a garden. I would see friends post pictures of the vegetables they had grown on facebook and I “grew” a little envious. So a couple years ago, a friend helped me put in two small gardens.

I planted tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, squash, blackberries and herbs.

Each day my son and I would water it.  On weekends, we would weed it.  When nasty, little squash insects showed up; my son took care of that. Each week we would get more excited as our plants started to grow and take hold.

It was our project–our garden. As little green sprouts grew and started to flower and produce vegetables and fruit; we were elated! We could not wait to try our first tomato.

As summer took hold, so did our garden. We were getting so many peppers and tomatoes we were giving them away.

However, as summer got hotter, the plants stopped producing and eventually the garden was done. We got busy and went on vacation and other things took priority. My son would mow the yard and bring in a pepper or two.

One afternoon I decided to dig up the old plants and get the garden ready for the fall.

As is common in Texas summers, everything was brown and showing signs of scorching from the sun. But on the corner of the house a red small thing caught my eye. It was a tiny, bright red tomato clinging to a dead tomato plant. The branches of the tomato plant were not leafy green. They were shriveled, brown and dead. But there that tomato was. How could it be holding on? How could it be red and ripe on a dead bush?

The Bible tells us in Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV), Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.

That one tomato was such a visual reminder to me that when I don’t spend time in God’s word my roots are not firmly planted. I wither away and while I might look like I am producing fruit, I am really just hanging on. Even if I look okay on the outside — my roots could be shriveled and shallow.

But it doesn’t stop there. When we teach our children God’s word their roots grow strong and deep in Him too.

Galatian 5:22-23 (NIV) says, But the fruit of the Spirit is  love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Only God could produce a garden that magnificent!

Sherry Shepherd is an experienced, adaptable professional specialized in writing for faith-based organizations. She has worked as an editor and writer for newspaper, movie guides, publishing houses, churches and several non-profits. Her scope of work includes corporate and fundraising materials, advertising, web, brochures, booklets, books, blogs and biblical training materials. However, her heart is drawn to any type of creative writing, where she can motivate while conveying a biblical message and telling a story. Sherry is the mother of three grown children, who have been the source of some of her greatest joy, laughter and material!