By Mia Valentine
Sometimes in the everyday routine it’s easy to forget to take time to have genuine and honest conversation with God. Even going back to the original garden, we find that Adam and Eve were created for relationship with God, to walk with Him in the cool of the day, and to enjoy fellowship with Him. This plan is where my love for gardening comes in. I absolutely love being in our family garden!
I love watching our three sons’ faces light up as they discover new plants breaking through the soil. There’s a joy that comes from watching them go from garden bed to garden bed with a strawberry in one hand and a tomato in the other. It really is the place that I find the most peace. Whether I’m with my family or stealing a moment alone, there are so many simple truths that God has reminded me of during my time in our garden, and I would love to share some of those with you today!
God knows my needs.
Every morning before my husband leaves for work, we take a walk around our property and check on all our fruit trees and the progress in our garden. We notice when a new leaf sprouts up or when our plants are lacking water or nutrients. We tend to each one individually and make sure they have what they need to flourish. I believe that God does the same thing with me. He is aware of my needs, and He cares for me and knows me intimately.
We need to remove the weeds.
Any gardener will tell you that weeds are absolutely resilient! They will sprout up everywhere. If allowed to grow, they can completely take over a garden in a matter of days! God uses this reality to remind me to be vigilant in my own spiritual health. It’s so important that I don’t allow unhealthy things to grow in my life because, just like in my garden, those spiritual weeds can lay deep roots and choke out all the beautiful, healthy life that God is cultivating within me.
I can’t rush God’s timing.
Nothing makes me more excited than when I see the soil slowly start to lift where I know a seed is breaking through! It is the best feeling to know that in a few, short days, life is going to spring forth. God uses this to remind me that His timing is perfect. And although at times I want to rush the growing process, there’s so much to learn in the season of waiting.
God created me for community.
When we are planning our garden, we consider which plants grow well together. This is called companion planting. For example, I don’t want to place a plant that requires a lot of water and sun with one that prefers shade and needs little water. Neither would benefit. In a similar manner, God reminds me of how important it is to surround myself with people who can encourage me and help me to draw closer to Him.
Enjoy the harvest!
My family loves the harvest season! There’s so much excitement when everything is in production and we are surrounded by sweet peas, strawberries, melons, grapes, peppers, and so much more – every good thing ripe and ready for us to enjoy. At this point, all the vigorous weeding, watering, fertilizing, and every other task it takes to make our garden grow is complete. This is the time for celebration! God uses this to remind me that our laboring is never in vain, and that the harvest is just around the corner.
About the Author
Mia Valentine is the wife of Jordan Valentine, lead pastor of Journey Church, an Open Bible church in Antioch, California. They reside in Antioch with their three “wildlings,” John Caleb, Jedidiah Stone, and Thaddeus Allman. A fourth, Judah Red, will be arriving soon.