The other day, I was in my garden. Pruning my tomato plants. We’re coming to the end of growing season, and this is my first year with my own garden. There are still TONS of tomatoes on my plants, and I am trying to make the most of them. So I went out today to tie up a few stems, keep them off the ground, and ripen them for as long as possible. Hoping the first frost is far away.
As I was tying up the plants, I was also pruning them. They have gained a lot of dead leaves, stems, fruit, etc, as I have neglected them recently. Some of the branches have black spots. Others are dead. Still others are still sprouting new leaves and even blossoms!! And a lot of them are bearing fruit.
As I sat there, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much these tomato plants represent what’s going on in my life. Those plants were put in the ground, watered, received sunlight, and took whatever they were surrounded by, with no defense or help of their own. In our lives, we have so many choices of how we take care of the gift of life. We choose to add good things to our lives, and we choose to add bad things. We allow the disease and poison of our sin into our lives. Deceit. Gossip. Anxiety. Self-deception. Selfishness. Vanity. Hate. Laziness. Jealousy. Unkind words. The list could go on.
The amazing thing is that God, who is the ultimate father, allows us to make these choices. He allows us to screw up. But he doesn’t give up. We make the choice how well we serve him. We make the choice to “prune” the bad stuff off…to remove the disease completely. And allow the fruit to grow. To cut off those things that hinder the growth in our lives. The “dead” parts of our lives. And allow Christ to grow us. And bear more fruit.
What an awesome representation of what God wants for our lives. Surround yourself with people who will help you grow, not fill you with disease. Make reading the Bible a priority. Choose to go to God first with your praise and your concerns, not just post them in Facebook and Twitter 🙂 And make your home a place that can grow. Make it a place where your children want to come back to. And bring their friends to.
We have been given the gift of salvation. If God never did one more good thing in our lives, we would still have been given the greatest thing ever. Forgiveness. What more do we need?