When It’s Time to Call the Master Gardener

A military mom realizes her spiritual garden needs an overhaul after her son is deployed.

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Woman in garden

I do not have a green thumb. House plants quiver in fear when I pass them at the garden center, knowing that a trip home with me means certain death. But last year, I took a long look at our front yard. It wasn’t a pretty site. 

The once neat flower beds were overgrown with straggling azaleas, weeds and overgrown roses that no longer bloomed. These areas had once been well-defined by an edging of monkey grass, but even that had dead spots and areas of overgrowth that spilled into the yard. 

It was time for some work.

Knowing my ability to kill plants with a single look, I called in an expert. The landscaper came and without any judgment for the way I’d allowed things to get, mapped out a plan. He took inventory and assessed what would have to go and what could be trimmed and transplanted.

Over the next few weeks he and his crew pulled off a major overhaul. First they removed everything and brought in new soil. The old had become depleted of any nutrients and without food, any plant they set out wouldn’t live. Next he severely pruned the bushes that would be staying and removed all the weeds.

At this point the yard looked like a war zone. There were ugly patches of dirt where flowerbeds used to be, but he assured me this was what it took to reclaim my garden from the wilderness.

Sure enough, new topsoil, plants and mulch were added. The beds were redefined and carefully edged with boundaries that would stay in place.

As I watched this process, I was struck by how like my spiritual life this was—especially when our son was serving overseas. Caught up in the busyness and stress of life, I’d let things get out of hand and my life resembled a wilderness much more than a garden.

But when I took my troubles to the Master Gardener, He stepped in and without judgment or condemnation, mapped out a plan. He did some painful pruning and got rid of the weeds that had choked my once green relationship with Him. He added a layer of topsoil through His Holy Word to nourish my struggling faith. Finally He redefined boundaries I’d let collapse.

Just like my front yard, I was a new person. And I learned that sometimes we have to take a hard look at where we’ve ended up and call out for help. When we do, our Father is faithful to come to our aid. Only He can cultivate anew the garden of our souls.

The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry. Isaiah 58:11 (HCSB)

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