We need lots of SON…
Adam’s greatest failure was that he failed in the one great responsibility God assigned to him. He was to tend to the garden. His job was to protect all life in the garden. Of course, he failed miserably. His walls were not high enough nor strong enough. “Briars came up instead of wheat and weeds instead of barley.” (Job 31:40) Sin entered the garden and that’s why we are in the mess were in today.
I’ve enjoyed a delightful Spring Break here in west central Georgia. My family had no opportunity to get away because Shannon had to work this week. Temperatures have been in the mid-seventies. My Azaleas are just about to burst. I’ve spent most of the week playing ‘monster trucks’ with my little boy and working in my yard.
We’ve never had a garden but this year we’ve been strongly considering it. My father was a master gardener when I was a growing boy and I avoided the garden like a plague because if you ever got near the garden while Dad was working it you would find yourself pulling weeds for hours. He loved it but I never really acquired a love for playing in the dirt when all the rest of my friends were out playing basketball and running the woods.
Having failed to learn much from my father about gardening, I walked down to my neighbor’s house yesterday to ask some advice. Where Adam may have failed, George has been a smashing success. Walking onto his place is about as close to the garden of Eden as one can get. I always look for those two Cherubim at the end of his driveway.
George gave me a 20 minute lesson on gardening. You need about eight hours of sunlight. Plants can’t grow in the shade. They need to bask all day in the sun. They need a lot of moisture, especially here in the hot south. Being a preacher, I started making spiritual application to what he was teaching me. We can only achieve spiritual health if we bask in the Son. We need to let that Light from heaven, brighter than our sun, illuminate us. We need this kind of light daily. Its not possible to get too much of His light. But we so often find ourselves in the shadows, wasting our time on things that do not edify. We seem to spend so much of our lives under one dark cloud after another. Those who are spiritually healthy are those who have arranged to live in the light of the Son.
George told me that the soil in our area has a high concentration of clay in the soil. “You’ll have to mix a lot of mulch and top soil and a bit of manure.” Manure? Where do you get manure? Is this something you buy at Wal-mart? I’m starting to have second thoughts about this garden idea. But I am aware of a verse in scripture that talks about soil. Jesus taught that rocky soil is not good for growing, nor is soil packed tight. But seed dropped into good soil could produce “one hundred, sixty and thirty times what was sown.” Sometimes we don’t grow spiritually because the soil in our heart is not prepared properly to receive what God wants to plant there.
George said to keep the garden free of weeds. Now, this is the one thing I remember from working in my father’s garden. I’ve spent many, many Saturday mornings weeding strawberry rows that looked to be about three miles long when I was nine years old. Jesus also taught a lot about weeds. He said they choke out what is good in our lives. He said they should be separated from the wheat and collected into bundles to be burnt. The enemy will sometimes sow weeds in our garden to try to destroy it. Oh, the little foxes that ruin the vine. Must we not be on constant alert to keeps the weeds out of the garden of the soul? My father used to tell his three sons, “What you give your mind to is what you become.” The Philippians were admonished to avoid the weeds and direct their minds toward that which would edify: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” Philippians 4:8
George had a tall fence built around his garden. “Keeps out the critters.”, he said. I know what “critters” he is talking about. The deer have feasted on my Knock-out roses. I’m sure they love onions, asparagus and ochre. Adam failed because he didn’t protect his garden. We have a responsibility to build walls around our own souls and then to build a fortress around our families to protect them from sin. As head of my family I want to be very careful what my family is exposed to on the computer, on the television, etc. I want to check the fence daily to make sure it is secure and impenetrable.
I’m not sure if I will ever have much of a garden but I left George yesterday with a new determine to take care of my soul and the souls of my family members.