Garden Tools in Hand

garden tools in hand

Garden tools serve as handy metaphors for the disciplines of the faith. Just as tools help cultivate a garden, faith disciplines help us nurture a relationship with God. Though often they amplify the heart cry for God to fix things! Likewise, today’s featured tools help highlight and reinforce the cultivating, nurturing, coaxing, waiting, tending nature of growing a garden and growing a personal relationship the Lord.

ultimate plant clips are handy tools for tying up vines

Ultimate Plant Clips from Global Garden Friends (or little twisty thingies as I call them!) are invaluable for the cucumber-melon gardener, and I am sure green bean and sweet pea growers would agree. They are quick, handy help to tie up vines to trellis’, support cages, etc. I keep a supply at hand in a nearby garden pot, their color a fun accent in the garden. www.globalgardenfriends.com

Engaging God through “tools”—prayer, work ethic, humility, thanksgiving, to name a few featured in God’s Word for Gardeners Bible—starts out with things we can do, ways to be useful, productive, and take charge, seemingly in control. That is, we use the practices in attempts to grip, grab, and get a hold of ourselves…and of God… by our own hand. It is a good starting place, at least, coming to God and believing He has hope and possibility for difficult, dead-end circumstances or well-intended ambition.

However, in His mercy, God doesn’t leave us in such a stance, with such a mindset, as if we are the ones to direct, as if we can use Him to fix our problems and struggles, or to get ahead. The beauty of this metaphor is that while prayer, humility, works service, etc. can take on their own importance or ritual—our ability in these can carry us far enough to distract from growing a reliance and relationship with God—garden tools would never be confused with a garden itself.

Yes, it is obvious a weeder, snipper, or plant clip is not a garden; yet it may be obscure that a routine prayer or generous, charitable act is ungrounded in a relationship with God. Be on guard that as clay we don’t usurp the potter!

You turn things upside down. You think the clay is equal to the potter. You think that something that is made can tell the one who made it, “You did not make me!” This is like a pot telling its maker, “You know nothing.”
Isaiah 29:16 ERV

Full of grace, the Lord champions our turn toward Him and pardons our attempt to contain or dictate to Him, or act on His behalf—a reversal of the right relationship.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! … How gracious he will be when you cry for help!
Isaiah 30:18-19 NIV

He draws us through waiting, mostly, to grow our trust, companionship, and adoration in Him—to deepen and sweeten an intimate relationship.

micro snips by Corona Tools help harvest herbs from the home garden

ComfortGEL® Micro Snips from Corona Tools are my favorite herb companion, a perfect scale for harvesting the home garden, helping taste and see goodness get quickly to table in garden fresh food. I actually keep them in the kitchen drawer, not the garden workbench, to dash out for a clipping at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. www.coronatoolsusa.com

I pray to God—my life a prayer—and wait for what he’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.
Psalm 130:5-6 The Message

Ironically, disciplines expose our neediness: where we sought strength in hand, soon weakness disturbs. The practices of prayer, service works, fasting or other humility processes will move us across the threshold of DIY (do-it-yourself) strength through unsettling dishevelment if we work at them long enough. Paul pleaded (i.e. prayed) through his struggle with a “thorn in his flesh,” before the invention of thorn strippers, of course!

…I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NIV

The Original Weeder & Cultivator from CobraHead

The Original Weeder & Cultivator from CobraHead is a well-crafted, all-around credit to garden care and puttering. Pull up weeds, break up soil for better saturation, and rough up mulch for a more attractive appearance – all with the Cobrahead in hand. Also gain the extra strength needed to tug at spent plants, like the pansies and violas finally too hot to flourish…an end-of-season essential! www.cobrahead.com

See Paul grow into acceptance of God’s way, of Christ’s presence lavishing his own, and of the lush land of God’s reliable love. The goal of faith practices is not to be a disciplined follower; the goal is to love the Lord.

And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us.
1 John 4:16 AMPC

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV

May we let garden tools lead us to trust in God’s deep, abiding love. Eventually, in season after season, we learn to come to the Lord with nothing in hand, expecting not to become handy in faith, but simply to come.

“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride.
Whoever hears, echo, “Come!”
Is anyone thirsty? Come!
All who will, come and drink,
Drink freely of the Water of Life!
Revelation 22:17 The Message

Gods Word for Gardeners book in mustard greens

 

For more devotions on faith practices, see the Garden Tools section of God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, beginning on page a-17

 

Find a thorough, formal examination of spiritual disciplines at www.authenticdiscipleship.org

A heartfelt thank you to CobraHead, Corona Tools, and Global Garden Friends for your generosity to GWA: The Association of Garden Communicators…join us in Chicago this August to personally meet these innovative, amazing companies! #GWA2018

Photo Credits:
©2018 Shelley S. Cramm

, ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Site by Author Media