The Master Gardener

photo by z

photo by z

Those who know me would readily bear witness that when something catches my focus, I attend to it with great zeal.  Okay, they might say obsession!  This summer three things have captured my attention like never before: family, fishing, and gardening.  This post involves all three.

The kids and I were on our way to go fishing when to my pleasure, James my 6 year old, said he wanted to read the Bible on the way and asked for my pocket New Testament which I gladly provided.  It only got better.  James just opened it up and started reading aloud, struggling over a few words but doing pretty well.  The ‘random’ passage he read:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:1-8, NIV)

I cannot tell you the joy and the excitement when I realized the teaching moment that my 6 year old had initiated.  I paused James to ask him what I did every morning and the first thing I did when I came home from work.  He quickly answered that I watered the garden plants and looked at each one, carefully looking for new and developing fruit.  I explained I also take care to ensure there are no signs of disease or insect pests.  Each day making sure there is the right balance of nutrients, the soil is not too dry nor too wet, etc.  And even pruning back the branches that did not have signs of fruit.

I then had the opportunity to relate that same care to Jesus, the Master Gardener, whose care and attention to detail in our lives makes my own garden care appear like blatant neglect.  All three kids got it.  Yet another day that God has granted me in this life was overfilled with His amazing grace!

Jesus, knows our every need and when we remain in Him, nourishing our souls on His word and drinking deeply of His Holy Spirit, we will bear much fruit.  He will always see that we receive everything we need to bear fruit for His Kingdom and His Glory!  All praises be to our Master Gardener!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.” (Hebrews 13:15, NIV)