by Brandy Webb
The kids and I just returned on a long trip with some of our closest friends to visit their family in South Dakota and Minnesota. We had a great time. Beautiful weather, definitely cooler than Texas, and it was great to see everyone. Plus, the kids and I got to see a part of the United States that we have never seen.
We mainly stayed in South Dakota because that is where my friend’s parents live. One of the many things I admired during our stay was their garden. They have a real gift in raising one of the most productive gardens I have ever seen, rows and rows of all kinds of vegetables. In fact, they could probably feed ten families from their produce. This garden, though, takes a lot of work. First, they put a lot of work in preparing the soil. In fact, after living there for three years, they think that the soil is just about right. Then, my friend’s mother works on the garden practically every day once the seeds are planted, making sure there aren’t any weeds, bad bugs, if it needs watering, etc…
It got me thinking about how we should be working just as hard, if not harder, in taking care of our spiritual garden. Our inner conscience is the soil, the word is the seed, and our Messiah is the water (Mark 4:14; John 4:14). If we aren’t taking care of our soil and protecting the seed, we won’t have any good fruit to share.
I don’t know if I am taking the analogy too far, but I would like to share my thoughts. The idea made me think that our carnal flesh is what creates the weeds inside us. Weeds could be jealousy, anger, strife, bitterness, and other sins. In order for seeds to grow into healthy plants, you can’t have a lot of weeds. The weeds will squash and overtake the healthy plants. It is amazing to see even a thorny vine destroy a large healthy tree. Something so small can overtake something much larger. Therefore, we have to make sure we are constantly, daily, weeding out our inner weeds because if we don’t, the weeds will choke the word planted in us and make us unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19).
We should desire to have “good soil” within us, so that the word, “seed,” can grow bearing an abundance of good fruit (Mark 4:20). We know that a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit and an unhealthy tree good fruit (Matt 7:16-17). Therefore, we have to keep ourselves healthy, so that we bear good fruit, for we are known by our fruits.
Another idea also came to me about this agricultural analogy, which is as follows: When someone has an overabundance of produce from their garden they usually share with others. I realized that one of the main points of growing healthy spiritual fruit is the ability to share with others. Fruit has seeds to grow other plants, so maybe when we share our fruits with others, they are able to grow and eventually also able to share with others. Kind of like the idea of “paying it forward.” Spreading the seeds around us, so that God’s people can grow bearing good fruit, thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundred fold (Mark 4:20).
So, just be mindful of protecting the seed of God’s word within you. Provide it with good soil. Weed it daily, and let the Messiah’s spirit water it. Bear good fruit that you can in turn share with others.