God is the Gardener

by Tara Tanner

“Mommy, is this a weed or a plant?” “It’s a plant, don’t pull it!” I said.

“Mommy, is this a weed or a plant?” “It’s a weed. You can pull it.”

“Is this a weed?” “Nope.”

“Is this a weed?” “Yup. It’s gotta go.”

This was a conversation I had with my daughter while weeding my first garden. She was 4. So you can imagine the same questions went on for some time. “Weed or a plant, mommy?” The seeds I planted had just sprouted. They were so cute. I was so proud. Being my first garden, I didn’t know much but, I did know I needed to weed. I knew that if I didn’t, those weeds would take over. 

Before I worked in the garden that morning, I sat outside reading John chapter 15.  Jesus says in verse 5, a familiar verse, 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” 

But not so familiar were verses 1-4. Now I’m sure I had read this before but when I read it on this day, at this time, in this season of my life, God spoke:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

“Is this a plant Mommy?” “Yes, it is.” She moved on. 

“Is this a plant?” “No, it’s a weed. You can pull it.” She pulls it and moves on. 

As she goes to pull the next one she asks the same question, “Mommy, is this a weed?” “No!” I said firmly. “Don’t pull it!” This time, she immediately turned around and asked me, “How do you know?” And without hesitation I replied, “Because I planted it.” 

Because. I. planted. it.

I paused then. And I pause now to reflect on God’s Word. God is the Gardener. He plants every seed. He watches over the seeds; watching them sprout, watching them grow. On that day, three years ago, I thought about those that I call “weeds.” Those that others call “weeds”. And it pierced my heart. Because only God knows what He has planted and how far it has come. Only He knows. God is the Gardener. 

That was one of those moments that changed me. I started my day reading the Word and, while weeding my garden the Word changed me. It changed the way I look at others. And although there have been many, many, lessons along the way and many more to come, this one helped me to let go. Let go of what I can’t change and let God. Let God, the Gardener work. In me. To change me.  

Prayer: God, allow me to let go and pause long and often in this life so that your Word can change me as well as those around me.  

Tara Tanner is a follower of Christ, wife & mama, promise claimer, and intentional pauser.  Her blog is www.thepauseblog.weebly.com.

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