My husband buys special seed that he has to intentionally plant in the right proportion in just the right places.  He fertilizes it and waters it and chases the neighborhood kids off of it while it germinates.  Weeds on the other hand require no seed, no fertilizer and seem to thrive and spread, especially where they are not wanted.  Ignoring them just encourages them.  Conditions that kill the grass cause the weeds to proliferate.  He is intentional about planting the best stuff, fertilizing, killing pests, and pulling weeds, but the battle to keep a green healthy lawn continues.

Pretty lawns are very similar to gardens.  Neither happens by accident.  They are the result of consistent, intentional care.  The success of the garden is completely dependent on the knowledge and attention of the gardener.  The gardener is often judged by the quality of the “fruit” produced in his garden, whether that is consistent green grass, beautiful blooms, or vegetables and herbs.  He has to encourage and provide for good growth, uproot weeds, and destroy pests in order to achieve the desired result.  Gardeners don’t invest time and money and effort just for the sheer joy of wasting them; they expect that lawn or garden to produce, whether that harvest is beauty, food, or consistently weed-free green grass.

Each year at the beginning of this process, my husband has a vision of what he wants the yard to look like, and at end of this process, he wants me to walk down to the street and look back at our house and see how his planning and hard work have made our yard beautiful.  His consistently green, weed-free yard is a source of joy for him.

The Bible compares God to a gardener (John 15:1) and his people are identified as his “garden”.  (Is 51:1-5). Planting good things in our lives must be intentional.  Ignoring the bad influences in our lives will give them more power over us.  God understands us as we are, but he sees us for who we can be.  People who know us to be Christians will judge our God by the quality and abundance of “fruit” produced in our lives.  God is patient with us as we grow in understanding, and he delights in us, but he expects us to bear fruit and bring him glory.  When God looks at my life, let it bring him joy.