Thoughts from my Garden

There’s no better time or place for pondering than the garden in the morning. Before the heat starts bearing down, while the cool damp air wafts the scent of fresh cilantro my way as I’m watering the herbs…ahhh, nothing compares! This morning I spent an hour or more just watering and cooing to my lush green tomato plants, and ridding the pathways of stray weeds. They love me! (the tomatoes, not the weeds!)

I saw the telltale signs of hornworm action on two of the tomato plants. Grrr. The hunt began. It always scares me how well those large green worms blend in on a tomato vine. The damage they do is very obvious–they eat the end leaves off of the tomato plants, leaving an empty nub–but the worm itself is good at “making like a vine” and camouflaging itself till your nose is inches away and you suddenly see the thing. Ugh.

Isn’t that the way it is with life? Sometimes you see the effects of sin in your life…perhaps cutting you off from bearing fruit for Christ, or having fruitful relationships with others. Sometimes you have to trace that sin down and deal with it. Maybe it’s plainer to others than it is to you. Whatever the case, if you let it go, it will destroy you and the consequences will spread to those around you…if it’s a hornworm, pluck it off and smash it; if it is a weed, uproot it and throw it in the burn pile before it takes over your life.

Gardening with children is a great way to teach discernment. Last week we were weeding the onions. We have a long row and a half of onions, and it is a wide row, so there are three onions across, then four, then three, alternating in a foot wide raised bed. Lots of training opportunities while weeding with kiddos. Onion tops are green, so are most weed tops. The good and the bad grow side by side, close comparison helps one to discern what to leave and what to pull.

Side by side comparison in real life is helpful as well. Whether it be in the garden, or when choosing the best Bible translation, there is no better way to gain discernment than comparing the good and the bad side by side for their differences.

In creation and in spiritual things, discernment is critical. Take wild edibles for instance. With wild edibles, poisonous plants and medicinal plants often look alike. Do you know how many campers have dined on what they thought was wild carrots, when in fact it was a poisonous look-alike, poison hemlock? Deadly mistake. Sometimes close inspection is necessary for survival. Whether it be physical or spiritual.

Another parallel to this consideration would be Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares. A tare in the field looks exactly like the wheat, but at harvest time, the wheat produces fruit, and tares do not. 2 Timothy 2:19 tells us that “the Lord knoweth them that are his”…We’re also told a few verses earlier, in 2 Timothy 2:15, that we’re to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Discernment is key if you are Christian living in today’s world. It’s easy to be confused by counterfeits.

Just some thoughts from my garden.

1 Thessalonians 5:21, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.”

5 thoughts on “Thoughts from my Garden”

  1. Oh, I love these comparisons of gardening and growth spiritually. I must come see your garden. Hope you get all those hornworms. Have they cut off any of the main stems of the tomatoes yet? You know, all the roadside plants and the vacant lot plants that we know as weeds are some of the same ones the pioneers and the Indians used medicinally. And the blooms of the wildflowers! When I asked a friend what a certain roadside plant was, thinking it was chicory (I was right), he said, its just a weed! Poor ignorant guy!

  2. Well, I found the one hornworm and promptly squished it! But yesterday I saw the signs of another plant succumbing, and for the life of me, I looked and looked and couldn’t find it. Grr. Made me think of situations in life, where the damage is so visible to onlookers, yet no one has a good solution. Only God, and prayer!

    I know! It’s amazing what God has put out there for our use, and yet most disregard them as weeds. Similar to how little regard Christians have for their Bible reading and walk with the Lord these days. So many other things vying for our attention until something catastrophic happens to get our focus where it should have been all along.

  3. Great article. You made an excellent point about discernment being critical. I didn’t think about Gardening in such a way before by teaching children discernment, but you’ve brought a new perspective on things.
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  4. Hi Mary,
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. I have those mean little hook worms on my parsley – honestly one can turn a lovely parsley plant into a stick plant instantly!! My Aunt always said to smash them and then smear some of it on the plant and the others would stay away. I don’t do that (couldn’t stand to) I just catch them and throw them in another area of our yard.

    I love the comparison of Godly things to garden things.
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