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.