A Parable Comes Home (Day 1 from Cleansing Thoughts)
ANYONE THAT KNOWS ME knows I love plants. When space allowed I had as many house plants as garden, both vegetables and flowers. I believe they add so much life and beauty to your yard and home, for me personally caring for them is both physical and emotional therapy. Working in a garden can lift the heaviest load from a troubled heart.
I had one special place in my home I called my summer room. It was filled with plants, even the pictures on the walls, and decorated with wicker furniture even the wicker coffee table had magazine and books about plants. I spent many hours there reading, lost in thought and praying. It was a place much like my porch swing, where I could go to be alone with the Lord, to be refreshed and ready to start my day or perhaps to put the cares of the day to rest. Somehow the flowers and plants seemed to help put me in the right frame of mind to listen to what He might be speaking to my heart.
However, just as the seasons change from summer to winter, our lifestyles also change and I found it difficult to maintain everything when I went back to work. Weeds seemed to pop up overnight as the routine of carrying for them slipped away, lost in the lack of time. One evening, I noticed they were beginning to look withered from the sun and lack of water; the weeds were taking the place of the once beautiful blooms. There was one large pot of bright eyes that caught my eye; it looked as if was dying. I quickly gave it some water, but felt I was too late to bring it back to the way it was. My peaceful gardens , which gave me so much beauty, were now crying for care. The flowers around our porch area were the only ones that seemed to get what time I had. I had a decision to make, either I cut my gardens back to something I could handle or lose them to neglect. My heart was breaking.
I walked over to my comfort place and sat in the swing, closed my eyes, and waited. I began to see the life cycle of a small seed as it pasted through each season. Remembering the words Jesus spoke in the Parable of the Sower: “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come. (Mark 4:26-29, NKJV).
Jesus was telling the disciples not to be anxious over small beginnings for the kingdom of God was much like the seeds that we scattered on the ground. Many would receive the word and grow to maturity, others would fall away, but the day of harvest would come, and the kingdom of God would stand forever.
When we first moved into this house, there were only rock gardens with broken glass in them, one by one, I planted the gardens that now gave the house so much life and beauty. When I finished with the work, I remembered telling the Lord I would do my part in caring for them but it was up to Him to make them grow. I was so anxious that it seemed like every few days, I would check their growth, that is until now. Feeling a heavy sadness came over me, I went into the house, but the Lord wasn’t finished with what He had to say.
As I look around, I was drawn to the potted plants. Most had been replaced with silk because I thought I could capture the same look without the time it took to care for them. I had created an illusion of warmth and beauty, but there was no life. Continuing to look around I realized these silk plants were like some who claim to be children of God, they give the illusion of spirituality, they attend church, and seemingly living fulfilled lives. While on the inside there was no life because they had failed to store God Word in their hearts to help them grow. Perhaps, like myself, they became so entangled in the everyday cares of living that time just seemed to slip away. Jesus spoke of this with His disciples in the Parable of the Sower.