How many of you have had a garden? I didn’t grow up caring too much about gardening. My grandma had a huge vegetable garden on her farm, and I spent my summer days laying around in the hammock outside her house while she did the hard work of planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting in the hot sun every single day. I enjoyed the yummy produce that I got to eat for dinner every night, but the hard work required to get it didn’t really appeal to me. Ultimately, I wanted the rewards without the work.
This is comparable to a view many Christians hold when it comes to their faith, and it’s one I held when I was still learning what it meant to truly be a disciple of Christ. I wanted the reward, the end-goal of heaven and eternal life with God, but I didn’t realize all the necessary growth that needed to happen between putting my faith in Christ and meeting Him face-to-face one day. While to be saved, all we must do is put our faith in Christ, we are also called to grow in our faith throughout our life. The truth is, the Christian life takes hard work, just like gardening—it’s full of tilling, digging, pruning, watering, and harvesting—before we have grown into the likeness of God as He intended for us.
Philippians 2:12 says to
“continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Colossians 1:10 says that we are
“to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
Part of our growth comes only from God, as He is the one who sanctifies us more into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18). He plants the seeds in our hearts, grows us, and prunes us when needed. But the other part of our growth rests on us choosing to walk out our faith by reading the Bible, praying, and living as the Lord teaches us to in His Word. It’s seeking and pursuing Him, then being obedient when He prompts us to act, change, give, or go.
As of this year, I have my own plot of land outside my house, and I couldn’t wait to start my own garden to see what I could grow with my own hands. Oh, how my perspective has changed since I was a little girl. My garden isn’t big, probably only 10’x10’, but I expectantly go out and check it every day to see what has grown in the past 24 hours. Right now, it’s brimming with zucchini and some almost-ripe tomatoes, and I’ve been able to bring a new handful of joyful, pink, purple, and red zinnias in to decorate the house with every few days.
I am so expectant and excited to see growth in my garden each day, but sometimes I forget to be expectant for God to grow me in my walk with Him. Some days, I sit down to read my Bible and forget that I am reading the living word of God and do not expect to gain much out of it. Sometimes, I pray short prayers but don’t really process that I’m actively talking to our amazing God.
How quick we are to forget that we get to talk to a listening God any moment of our day, knowing that He hears and answers prayers. How often we do not expect to change after reading the Bible, or we forgo reading it completely because we don’t see a reason. This perspective is one that needs changed. I want to be just as excited to grow in my faith as I am checking my garden to see what grew, and I hope you do too.
The God who created and grows the plants in the ground is the same God who created and is growing you and me. We need to come to Him daily, excited to see Him grow us and willing to put in the work. Start your time with the Lord today by praying that God would make you expectant to hear from Him and learn from Him today. He surely will not disappoint.
Philippians 1:6 –
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Student Ministry Admin & Girl's Ministry Director