This happened without my help. But it didn’t just happen. It happened while I slept. But it didn’t just happen. It happened as I picked tomatoes to enjoy. But it didn’t just happen. It happened while I was watching TV. But it didn’t just happen. Becky, my wife has been working it. She shopped for the seeds, acquired the dirt mixture, started the seeds, transplanted the plants, watered and weeded the garden, and spent time doing the things you must do if you want your garden to grow.
I have and will continue to enjoy the benefit of the garden. I love tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peppers, etc. They taste best out of your own backyard. We all know that. But we aren’t all willing to tend it. One of the first responsibilities of humans was to tend the Garden of Eden. This was work… a glorious work… but work. Work isn’t the curse of sin. Back-breaking work is the curse of sin. God created a world that would be blessed to grow things, if we would take care of it.
He did the same thing with humans. We are designed to grow and mature to become all God wants us to be. Like my vegetable garden, this also does not just happen. Someone has to do the work… and it ain’t me. It takes preparation, planning, and purpose. Before you were born, God was preparing your life. As you developed outside of the view of people, He worked things into you that would blossom throughout your life. As you have grown, He has weeded and watered you. He tends you.
I’m not suggesting that you are simply an observer. God created you with the ability to grow and produce. If you have responded to His work, you know how wonderful it is to see the fruit in your life. But frankly, without God’s care and creation, there is nothing to talk about. I know where the good things in my life come from, just as I know where the fresh vegetables in my backyard come from. The fact that I haven’t utterly destroyed them does not mean I get to take credit for them.
The apostle Paul knew where the growth and fruit in our life comes from. He wrote to the early Christians, “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:4-10)
You were created to be beautiful and produce wonderful fruit in your life. That was God’s design for each human. The earth was designed to freely give forth good food. Sin made it difficult in the earth, and in humans. BUT God made a way back to the fruitfulness He planned. You will grow in Him as you surrender to Him.
Today, recognize God’s work in your life. Live in it. Grow in it. Be glad that He is planning His work and working His plan. Don’t take credit for what Christ has done in you. Just live it out.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.