Good—you have decided the best place to escape your life’s shelter-season chaos is in the garden! Agreed!
Yet in pursuing your garden plans, sooner or later you will need to contend with the dirt. I was stand-offish toward soil at first, but digging into our clumpy clay made me desperate for “tilth.” Gardening mentors and manuals guided my approach, teaching the necessity of soil prep, which is now a inevitably-accepted routine. Working the soil can hold surprising respite, bringing to mind metaphor for God’s mysteries, taking to heart a grasp of his holy ground.
Working the Soil
The fundamental shift from visiting and admiring gardens to working and taking care of one is learning to “see” not only stunning shrub or beautiful botanicals on seed packets, but the pockets of earth into which they are planted. You will start to discern the significant interdependence of plants and soil: a simple-enough concept gleaned in grade school, which takes on profound dimension as a gardener. Call it relationship or mystery or symbiosis—yet don’t miss the invitation to experience the soul-connection to the Holy Spirit, a deeper knowing through pragmatic parallel.
Amidst the soil’s nonchalant appearance swirls a symphony of activity. From what we do not see—microbes, nematodes, nitrogen uptake, humus breakdown, water absorption, and wriggly worms—comes nourishment and vitality, supplying strength and energy for plant growth from leaf to seed.
In turn, supplying this sophisticated system with organic matter and amendments becomes a “new normal.” Working the soil for the good of the plants works out a heart-cry here:
…shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Psalm 51:10 The Message
How is it that heaps of disappointment, disease, or dashed hopes can yield a new direction, a blessed beginning, a fabulous refocus? The same way loads of leaf mold, greensand, and composted kitchen scraps produce a flourishing garden. Plant is to soil as soul is to Holy Spirit: Handiwork and healing of our inner being is out of our sight, yet intricate harmonies of God’s goodness through his Holy Spirit are happening!
Making a garden moves us close with God’s matchless creation-work, brushes our everyday with His epic, exposes our struggles for the soul-forming events they actually are…and we discover all along we have been planted squarely in His purpose: He is working all things for good.
Let your meditation dig in here while working the soil and drift through these Scriptures. May God’s goodness pass right by your garden!
Plow your ground, and you will harvest with the Lord. He will come, and he will make goodness fall on you like rain.
Hosea 10:12 ERV
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.
Romans 8:28 VOICE
Do you not know that your body is a house of God where the Holy Spirit lives? God gave you His Holy Spirit. Now you belong to God.
1 Corinthians 6:19 NLV
…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Philippians 2:13 NIV
[God] saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior
Titus 3:5-6 NIV
And I will put My Spirit inside of you and inspire you to live by My statutes and follow My laws.
Ezekiel 36:27 VOICE
God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him.
Philippians 2:13 TPT
Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there.
1 Corinthians 7:17 The Message
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
Philippians 1:6 The Message
And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
Genesis 1:31 KJV
God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.
1 Corinthians 2:7 The Message
So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are visible are temporal [just brief and fleeting], but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable.
2 Corinthians 4:18 AMP
For you fashioned my inmost being…See if there is in me any hurtful way, and lead me along the eternal way.
Psalm 139:13, 24 CJB
Break up your uncultivated ground, For it is time to seek and search diligently for the Lord [and to long for His blessing] Until He comes to rain righteousness and His gift of salvation on you.
Hosea 10:12 AMP
And God said, “I will have My goodness pass in front of you. I will make the name of the Lord known in front of you…”
Exodus 33:19 NLV
Dig into more devotions in the Garden Work section of God’s Word for Gardeners Bible on Preparing the Soil, beginning on page a-22; and Composting, beginning on page a-31
Learn more about gardening in the Delight of God in our Start a Garden series
©2020 Shelley S. Cramm