Life From The Dust

8 10 2014

gardener2(A slow walk through John 15)

After Jesus describes Himself as “the vine” He says, “And my Father is the gardener.” Roles. What does a gardener do?

  • Decides where to plant
  • Prepares the soil
  • Plants
  • Tends
  • Weeds
  • Feeds
  • Troubleshoots
  • Harvests.

When I first wrote out this list, I left something out. It didn’t occur to me until I was reading a commentary where it says the Father “planted the vine of his human nature and filled it with all the graces of the Spirit. He supported it, upheld it, and made it strong for Himself, for the purposes of His grace, and for His own glory, and took delight in it…” (John Gill’s Exposition). Funny that I left off how the gardener takes pleasure in the plant.

I am by no means a gardener, yet when something lives I am SO happy! I have four violets I tend religiously. One is blooming right now and I look at it every day. I am so happy it is doing well. I am so proud of myself that I haven’t killed it. I think about my violets, try to put them in just the right kind of light, and I try not to over-water them in my enthusiasm. When I go away I am concerned for them. I went out and bought some nice pots for them and, yes, they give me pleasure. One of my little violets is struggling, but it too gives me pleasure.

All these feelings and hopes and delight I have in a simple little plant and God the Father is described as a gardener. What gardener does what they do just for the labor? Who does not stand back and take pride in the straight rows? Fooling the crows, fighting off the intruder? Picking that first delicious carrot? Who doesn’t urge that struggling one along? Who isn’t proud of the work of their hands?

For me, for me, the Father does this: He finds ways to help me grow and takes delight in the whole process, the whole person! In the cool of the morning, in the garden of His making, “He walks with me and talks with me and tells me I am His own…”

I was thinking of a coffee I had recently with a friend who had been to Africa. She showed me pictures of a garden her missionary friends so carefully planted. They surrounded their garden with a thick hedge of thorny branches, provided water for the parched desert soil, and all this effort produced a little green crop of Swiss chard. The desire to grow something in impossible places is an idea “planted” by the Father, I think…to bring life from the dust.

Today I spread my heart out like an open leaf, mindful that I am not the vine but a branch off it, tended so carefully by a Father who takes delight in working with me. He is not content to see me wither, to age dry and brittle, but urges me to drink deeply of the Living Water and thrive.

— Teresa Klassen





One response

11 11 2014

Amen – thanks for this reminder as it can be hard to see when you are in the process of being pruned.

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