by Michelle Welch
“For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.”
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (NLT)
As I was taking pictures in my garden, it occurred to me that the flowers are a representation of my spiritual walk. I have lots (and lots and lots) of flowers in pots of every shape and size. Some bloom continuously, some periodically, and one blooms once a year. They are long and thin, short and round, bright and dull. Some need to be restrained or they will grow wild, taking over places they shouldn’t grow into. A few have to be cut back on a regular basis so that they will bloom to their full potential.
There are the flowers on my vegetable plants. Usually a bright yellow in color (a point I just noticed after years of having a garden) they must bloom and then die in order for fruit to be produced. They are wide open in invitation to the bees that must come and pollinate them, a process of taking and leaving pollen. They must share this life giving powder as well as take some in from somewhere else in order that their life purpose is fulfilled.
A few of my flowers have a beautiful fragrance which, when gathered up and placed in vases, fills my home with wonderful scents. Some of them, like the jasmine and gardenia, remind me of my grandparent’s house and lazy summer nights. Roses bring memories of dances, birthdays, and happy events in my life. Huge white magnolia blossoms hold the dancing laughter of children swinging high towards the heavens.
There are flowers that are stunning in their color and form yet their smell is quite obnoxious to the human nose. Yet, in the life that flows around the garden, butterflies come to sit and partake of their life giving food. Their scent repels the insects that would destroy my vegetable garden so they are planted as a protective border around tender plants. How often have I given in to the desire to pluck one up and spent hours trying to rid myself of its offensive odor?
Each one, in their own special way, provided something to me. Whether it is rich, vibrant colors to lighten my dark day or delightful scents to take me to another place and time or a bountiful harvest to feed my empty soul, I am blessed by their gifts. Sometimes I have to go out and sit in their presence while at other times they come into my home to share what God blessed them with. There are many times when I must work hard to get their gift, fertilizing and tending them until they burst forth in generosity. And yes, there are times when I must get dirty, mucking around in the soil, to produce a harvest.
Dearest Father God, thank You for showing me how my life is like my garden. Full of different kinds of gifts to give. Full of color and beauty and life giving moments. Sometimes there will be painful moments when I must be pruned in order that I might produce a more beautiful blossom or a bountiful harvest. Or simply because I am growing wild, invading the space of someone else. Remind me that some people need to see Your beauty in my life, some people need to share Your beauty with me, and all of us need to be reminded that it is You that gives us life. I pray that all of our lives will be filled with the colors of Your Love and Mercy. In the name of Christ Jesus, Amen
Copyright © 2012, Michelle Welch, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from NLT.