How Does Your Garden Grow?


lemonboyjpg.jpgWe’ve been eating meals of late made from what we’ve grown ourselves here at Edelen Acres. I’m especially diggin’ the fresh herbs. Made salsa out of the wide variety of tomatoes we’re growing (man, those Lemon Boys are superb!) and tossed in our own cilantro. Scrumptious!

Anyone who reads here long enough knows I support the neo-agrarian lifestyle. I think it best fits God’s original intent for us in the Garden. Local economies. Permaculture. Peace. Tim Keller may love the city and use Jonah as his anti-agrarian homeboy, but Jonah went back home at some point—and home wasn’t the bustling metropolis of Nineveh. For me, the city’s okay. But just okay.

And I’m going off topic…

Eating our own salsa this evening got me thinking about the joys of fruitfulness. To watch the fruit grow and then be put to good use, that’s meaningful. It carries in it the seed of God purpose for us all.

But I wonder how fruitful we are. Finding fruit in America feels nigh unto impossible as we’re so distracted by LIFE™ to give any care to spiritual fecundity. If we’re not making disciples, though, then just what are we doing?

When we talk about knowing God, we fall back into the usual talk of reading the Bible more, or praying more, but we never, ever talk about living out our fruitfulness more. It’s as if we’ve divorced God from His working through us.

But I think that the best way to know God is to do what He says. He honors those who obey Him by revealing more of Himself. And it’s the kind of revelation you can’t get except through obedience to His calling.

Why does doing the Lord’s work get such short shrift when we talk about pressing on to know God? I think I’ve learned more about the depths of the Lord’s heart from doing what He tells me to do (feed the hungry, communicate the Gospel to the lost, love my brother, etc.) than nearly any other source.

And that’s an offshoot of fruitfulness, isn’t it? We will be known by our fruits and we will know Him more deeply because we are fruitful. He’ll continue to expand our gardens, and we’ll find more of Him as those gardens grow.

So how does your garden grow?

14 thoughts on “How Does Your Garden Grow?

  1. Sheena

    We have an allotment ( a plot of land we rent from the local authority to grow vegetables and fruit on) which has various crops on it, most of which are not doing well this year due to excessive rainfall. Last year we had to contend with a very dry summer and a hosepipe ban in the S.E of England.

    It’s been a great year for slugs due to the wet conditions and this has affected most of our crops, my squashes, courgettes and pumpkins have been badly affected, I think its too late for most of them to recover now. I had blight on my early potatoes but my maincrops seem fine. We also have corn, cabbages, brussles sprouts, tomatoes, climbing beans all of which seem to be doing ok – ish so far, we have lifted our onions and they were ok though not a bumper crop.

    • Sheena,

      I’m one of those people who have a genetic disposition against brussle sprouts. Something like a third of people actually have a gene that makes the sprouts taste horrible.

      Can I make an illustration out of that? 😉

  2. So very true! When I began blogging two years ago, I categorized my posts according to I Timothy 5:10 that identified the qualities of a widow that the church considered worthy: “a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.”

    I’m not a widow, but a widow didn’t just start “growing fruit” after she became one (a widow). Depending on our ages and the sizes of our families, many of us can have long seasons of focusing on “bringing up children” before we can hope to add much in the way of hospitality, washing the feet of the saints and caring for those in need, but many of us also seem to move from bringing up children to an attempt to create a heaven on earth for ourselves and our families and ignore the “Lord’s work”.

  3. David Riggins

    My wife and I were thrilled when we got our 1/2 acre here in Tennessee. 5 years later we are somewhat less than thrilled, and consider condo living with envy. There is a responsibility to the earth, and with it comes bugs and thorns and weeds and heat and humidity and general unpleasantness. But there is also the satisfaction of biting into a tomato that has flavors unimagined, or the sweetness of a sun-warmed cantelope. The smell of cut grass sooths the sweaty brow, as it were.

    I think there is something akin to that in the life of Christian service. If we focus on the unpleasant, then we miss the joy of seeing fruit on formerly bare branches. I know that there are some personalities that are more forebearing than others, and my personality tends to feel the sweat on my brow and the nuisance of mosquitos more than others, but that’s something I have to get over, I suppose. I think that’s were encouragement comes in. As we work together, we need to encourage one another with the expectancy of a fruitful harvest, but more often than not, we complain about the discomfort of working in the field.

    • David,

      I don’t find it to be hard work, actually. I’m going out on my tractor for the next few hours, but it’s relaxing (well, as relaxing as it can be on a 92 degree day with like 92 percent humidity).

      I’m trying to encourage myself in this time of discouragement. We’ve had a couple mini-tsunamis since, but I keep telling myself (and praying that) I need to stay positive.

  4. All gardens grow because God instilled the miracle of reproduction in His own garden. He created the power to reproduce, and He commanded plants, animals and people to do just that.
    When I plant tomatoes in my own garden, I expect tomatoes to grow, not cucumbers. In fact, those obedient tomatoes are coming up everywhere from last year’s seed that over-wintered! Of course, growing conditions (too wet, too dry, too hot, too cool) all affect growth, too, but they never change the laws of reproduction.
    †¢Fruit contains seed for more fruit.
    †¢Fruit decays as seed matures.
    †¢Seed must be planted and must die before it can grow into a new plant.
    †¢Roots, leaves and flowers exists only to produce and nurture fruit.
    †¢Fruit is not the goal.
    †¢Seed is God’s plan for life to continue.
    John 12:24-26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
    I believe that God desires fruit in our lives (produced by His Spirit living in us), but I think the end product shouldn’t be just a bowl of gorgeous fruit (as in “still life) but instead viable seed (as in “life, still).
    Guess I’ll think about this a bit more as I slice up a tomato.


      • Come to think of it, we had much greater success with our gardening when we used horse manure, too. Ever since we decided that horses were just a fun way to throw money away, our gardening efforts have dwindled. Maybe we shoud have kept the horses afterall!

      • David Riggins

        Well, they do say that Christians are like manure: It does its best work when spread around, but when gathered together, it tends to stink.

  5. I’m jealous of your garden!

    I’m not sure I agree with you understanding of how to know God. I think it’s true under the old covenant but no longer true in the new. We can only really know God through the obedience of Christ and our obedience doesn’t earn us revelation. All we have to do is receive by faith in Christ’s finished work on our behalf. I would tend to diagnose our problem as an unwillingness to receive grace due either to our prideful desire to deserve God’s favor or just the plain fact that we haven’t heard the good new about grace.

  6. The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who perform his word, obeying the voice of his word! Psalm 103:19-20

    and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. I Corinthians 2:4-5

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