Caring for the Garden of your Heart - Natalie Gibb
I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. John 15:1(NLT)
When I was young most of my time during the week was spent at my grandmother’s house. I was raised by a single mom for 7 years, until my mom remarried and we moved to Houston. During those 7 years my grandmother and I became inseparable. I was her only grandchild and we were the best of buddies. She was an Iowan farmers’ daughter, so much of our time together was spent in the dirt outside. We planted flowers, tilled gardens, and tended to the yard in the spring and summer months. I even had my own miniature push lawnmower that I would chase around behind hers when she mowed the grass.
One of my favorite pastimes when I was a little girl was going out and pulling weeds with her. She taught me early on that you had to reach down close to the soil, grasp the weed firmly and pull hard to make sure that the weed came out with the roots. If the roots were left behind the weed would just regrow. Grandma was all about efficiency and she wasn’t going to pull the same weed twice. You made sure to get it roots and all the first time to make room for the beautiful flowers and plants that were meant to grow in the space that it was occupying.
Lately I have used this same knowledge and applied it in my adult life. Not with plants or flowers but with soul weeds. You know those things that are growing beneath the surface of our outward appearance that just keep reappearing no matter how much you try and get rid of them. The patterns in your life that keep cropping up that are keeping you from being truly happy and content. The weeds that sometimes go back to the hurts and pains of our childhood, or sometimes grow out of life’s disappointments along the way. Those things in your life that you wish you could change or that no one really knows about. Maybe even the things that you know in your heart are keeping you from a close and intimate relationship with the Father. My point is none of those are flowers that God planted. He never intended for those things to take up permanent residence in your heart.
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble…Hebrews 12:15 (ESV)
Sometimes we need to do some deep soul searching and find where those weeds have roots. Maybe it is abandonment of a parent, the shame that is often associated with abuse, regret over past decisions, or the guilt that you still carry from past relationships. Whatever the root is, you must find it and yank it out. The process of doing that looks different for everyone. Sometimes it looks like professional counseling and sometimes it is just time with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it is simply coffee with a close, trusted friend. Whatever form it takes I promise that God will be the guide if you are willing.
He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands. Psalm 78:72
He is the master gardener after all. One of His first creations was a garden that was lush and beautiful. It was a sanctuary that was overflowing with beauty and provision. Then sin entered in and the weeds began to grow. But the good news is that the master gardener is coming back to restore that garden to its original purpose. Until that day comes are you willing to do a little pruning with Him? Lay your heart before Him and ask where the weeds are that need to be pulled out of your life. Will you let Him guide you to the roots of those weeds? Will you trust Him to help you completely remove the weeds, roots and all? He is trustworthy my sweet sister! He is in the business of restoration! Pursue Him with your whole heart and see where He makes space for beautiful new flowers of love and acceptance to grow. Tend the garden of your heart with Him as your Lord and Master and watch the masterpiece of a beautiful garden come to life today!
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Hear, my daughter, and be wise, and direct your heart on the right course. Proverbs 23:18-19 (ESV,NLT)
You are loved so much and I am praying for each of your hearts to seek and to know Him today!