Thursday, April 23rd, Shelley S. Cramm will be speaking at Boomerang Coffee House in Vancouver, WA, on “Generosity in the Garden.” Please join us if you are in the area for this free event! Boomerang is founded on the belief that Generosity Returns, and in honor of the day, enjoy an excerpt from God’s Word for Gardeners Bible in the Garden Tools section of Generosity.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. ~1 Timothy 6:18 – 19
It is in our own best interest to be generous, our garden flowers teach us, and so does our God (1 Timothy 6:18 – 19). Clipping flowers stimulates the plant to produce more flowers, as garden writer Mrs. Richmond says. So while we bring a bunch indoors to enjoy garden beauties in a vase nearby, and cut some to give a neighbor, we are actually helping to create more vases-full well into the autumn, she noted. We have discovered that the ways of our gardens and plants line up with the ways of God in giving.
Generosity with regard to cutting one’s flowers brings its own reward, for the plants will produce many more blossoms if relieved of a part of their first bloom than when these are left uncut . . . if we desire to have plenty of blossoms in the autumn we shall cut them constantly now [the second week in July].
— Mrs. Richmond, In My Lady’s Garden, 1908
We continue to see God’s garden logic: Being generous with what God has given us and willing to share the blessings he has showered into our lives begets more blessing, just as cutting lowers to give away yields more flowers. For it is God’s compassion, his lovingkindness, his generosity in Christ that is displayed when we give to others (2 Corinthians 9:12), resulting in thanksgiving to him, increasing praise for him and for expressions of his grace. We are charged with bringing the love of God to our loved ones and neighbors, as if every day were a “May Day” of sorts, treating those we know to a bouquet of blessing. Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift!
Prayer: Bountiful God, help me to see and sense how truly rich I am in all the things you’ve provided for my enjoyment, beginning with the flowers that grow and fill my life. Lord, if I become willing to share, you will see that I am able to take hold of the life that is truly life — you have made it in my interest to be generous; Lord, you know me too well! How satisfying that sounds, to leave behind foolish, meaningless, petty ways and live a generous life, energized and full of vitality, gracious to others, devoted to you. It’s a narrow road, as you say (Matthew 7:13 – 14), away from the crowds, opposite the mainstream, yet wholly delighted by you, the One who treats me to fields filled with flowers.