10 Spiritual Lessons from Gardening

10-Spiritual-Lessons-from-Gardening

Gardeners and farmers live in tune with the seasons. We’re intimately acquainted with the life cycles of food and how it arrives on our tables because we’re involved in every step.

Here are ten ways gardening parallels spiritual truth.

1. Prepare the soil. A random seed scattered here or there isn’t likely to grow, just as a random Bible verse tossed out will not likely bear fruit. Gardening is a thought-filled process. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but a bit of planning and working goes a long way.

Prepare-soil

2. Choose your seeds. Plant open-pollinated seeds—they grow plants that can reproduce. What good is a plant if it can’t make more? Just as we should beware of overly processed vegetable seeds, so we need to remember that our contribution to the Kingdom of God is in honest communication, not perfectly memorized sermons that may be lifeless. What good are the words of God if they don’t reproduce? He promises they won’t return to Him void, because they are words of life.

3. Provide water and sunshine. Without these necessary ingredients, seeds won’t germinate and grow into healthy, fruit-bearing plants. Jesus is our living water. We bask in the sunlight of his love. If we don’t spend time with our Lord, our spiritual lives can’t sprout and grow either.

4. Pull the weeds. Digging them out while they are little causes the least disruption to the vegetables, so do it before they can steal all the water, sunshine, and soil nutrients. You don’t want weak, spindly, or dead vegetables. In the same way, don’t let bad habits get rooted. Once established, they can crowd out or even kill growth.

5. Fertilize. Skip the fake chemicals. Look for what’s best for the soil and plants long term, not just for quick flowers. Provide living food such as rotted compost and manure. Christianity isn’t candy-coated either. Strong growth comes out of difficult situations, not fluff.

6. Provide trellises as needed. Some seeds, like carrots, grow deep roots. Others, like tomatoes, grow into bushy plants. Others, like peas, have shallow roots and grow into vines that need to be upheld. Get support when you need it. It’s not a sign of weakness.

7. Prune. Just as not every vegetable plant needs a trellis, so not all need pruning. But if the gardener wishes to maximize the edible parts of certain plants—such as basil or tomatoes—judicious trimming goes a long way. Unlike bad habits that crowd us and should be weeded away, pruning is done to the plant itself to encourage growth. Painful? Yes, but we can trust God with the pruning shears.

8. Plan for fruit (or vegetables). With a few exceptions, we don’t eat flowers. The purpose of a vegetable garden is to produce food, not a pretty display. Certainly the beauty and fragrance of flowers sooth our souls, but to nourish and sustain us, we need food. What will the fruit look like? Be prepared. Watch for it. As believers, the fruits of the spirit should become evident in our lives.

9. Process the fruit. You have a basket of fresh vegetables from the garden. Congratulations! How will you make it last? Our spiritual fruit is people God has saved through our witness. “Picking” them isn’t enough. Take the extra steps to disciple them and preserve them for heaven.

Process-the-fruit

10. Save the seeds. Make sure the fruit is viable and can produce more. Every kind of seed takes different preparation. Legumes and grains seeds dry on the vine. Potatoes grow plantable eyes. Carrots grow seed the second year. Squashes must be cut open to release their seeds. Tomato seeds require an intensive fermentation process. Whatever spiritual fruit you’ve gained, encourage the plants to re-seed themselves!

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).

Gardening can be a gateway to eating what’s available year round. If you’re interested in seasonal eating, sign up for my newsletter and receive a FREE gift, Seasons from My Kitchen.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Valerie Comer (21 Posts)

Valerie Comer is a fiction author and a blogger where food meets faith. She and her husband of over 30 years farm, garden, and keep bees on a small farm in Western Canada, where they grow much of their own food, preserving vast amounts of it by canning, freezing, and dehydrating. She believes taking good care of both the planet and her family is an act of worship and thankfulness to God the Creator. Valerie writes farm fresh romance such as Raspberries and Vinegar (Choose NOW Publishing—August 2013) as a natural offshoot of her passions.


Comments

  1. These are great analogies, Valerie! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great thoughts!!! Maybe you have some advice on composting for me…..I have been trying to get started with this…but was wondering if I could do it in plastic. I know, off topic!

    • Many ready-made composters are made of recycled plastic. They take up very little room and often have a handle on the side so you can easily rotate the veggie scraps for faster composting. We live on a farm. Not only do we have a lot of space, we have a lot of scraps (when you count weeds as well as scraps). We just have a large pile that rots slowly and gets added to the soil once a year or so. It works for us, but it’s definitely not what’s recommended in the books. (We’re kind of lazy gardeners.)

  3. Martha Franks says:

    I do the same thing my grandmother did and it works for me. I keep a cool-whip container by the sink and put all egg shells, coffee and tea grounds and veggie and fruit scraps. When it’s full, I bury it in the garden. It doesn’t take long at all to decompose.

  4. Last night’s sermon at church was on sowing seed. This morning I got your email- another great message from God. So good too Valerie, as I have often thought in analogies like this in the garden but you said it so well.

Leave a Reply