In the Garden of My Heart (Day 1 from Cleansing Thoughts




        THE WORD OF GOD TELLS us there is a season and a time for every purpose, "a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted" (Ecclesiastes 3:2, NKJV). Anyone who has ever planted a vegetable garden understands this simple statement, but do they understand the biblical principles of sowing and reaping? Like so many others, I thought I did until God taught me a lesson I'll never forget. Most often, this principle is applied to the area finance, but that is not all that can be sown in the kingdom of God.
    
    It was early spring, and we were preparing to plant our garden. For weeks, I had been peering through the catalogs, selecting just the right seeds for our soil conditions. I had painstakingly laid out every bed, both flowers, and vegetables, and I could see it in my mind's eye. We had been working the soil for weeks until it became like soft powder. The day that I went to the greenhouse, I was there for hours carefully choosing the bedding plants, looking at them from every angle, checking the stems, the condition of the foliage, the coloring. And now the day finally arrived. It was time to plant! Each bed was marked according to the plan. One by one, the seeds were planted in the rows, just so far apart. With tender loving care, the young plants were settled into the ground. When I finished, I stood back and admired my work then asked the Lord to bless the efforts of my hands. I watered and waited. Heaven forbid a weed should appear and spoil all my work, and if it should dare to do so, it was yanked out of the ground instantly.

    I was like a mother hen brooding over her chicks. With the appearance of each plant, I grew more and more excited. As the days turned into weeks, the beauty of the flowers became more exquisite, and the garden was the most beautiful I'd ever seen. Over the course of the summer, I had spent hours not only in the garden but canning the produce for my family as well. The harvest that year was remarkable, and I was beaming with pride. Not only had I put up our winter supply of vegetables, but I was also able to bless others with all that remained.

    I remember one morning very early in the fall. I was having my morning devotions in the swing overlooking the garden. I could smell the flowers, feel the warmth of the sun on my face, a cool breeze in the air, and a stirring in my heart. The Scripture for the day stood out as if in bold letters, "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." (2 Corinthians 9:6, NKJV). I paused for a moment and glanced up at the garden, and as I began to thank Him for the bountiful harvest, I was stopped! Something within me could not go on. It was as if God was asking me to search my heart and see the true harvest. Tears began to well up in my eyes as He reminded me of the seeds i had planted in the garden of my heart. The Word tells us that out of the abundance of our heart, the mouth speaks, and din my heart, i had planted pride. It was the attitude of the heart that was wrong.

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