"The Lord God planted a garden
eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed" (Genesis
When did gardening (and life) become so difficult? I
guess it has been that way since the fall of mankind. God did not want life to
be easy for us; otherwise we might never turn to Him in our need. So He blessed
us by making life difficult. Things can be very hard, but the Lord is our
certain help, now and forever. He said, “Cursed is the
ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it, all the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you…” (Genesis
3:17-18). Notice He said, “for your sake” (on your
behalf). It’s difficult to understand, but the problems in our lives are
intended to benefit us. In our frustration, we might FINALLY look to Him.
Recently, we attended a four-hour seminar on gardening.
I hoped I might learn something, and I probably did, although the instructor,
Mr. Quezaida, who has a bachelor’s degree in subjects related to gardening, gave
so much information so fast that I confess it was overwhelming.
The class contained subjects like “Soil
Amendment, Grading, Irrigation Systems, Planting, Budgeting” and much
more. A four-week class, he informed us, had been crammed into one four-hour
session. We found out that nitrogen in the air converts to ammonia, of all
things, and then it becomes nitrite and finally nitrate. Only then, in nitrate
form, can it be used by the plants in our gardens. “Too
much water takes air out of the soil,” the instructor said, which ruined
my theory from past years which basically was: The more water the better! And it
also explains why a number of plants have struggled and turned yellow under my
He spent at least an hour telling us more than I knew
about fertilizers, and I needed to hear it because I remember going into places
where they sell it and I didn’t know what to buy. Mr. Quezaida told us what the
numbers mean on the packages. For instance, the first one of the three is
Nitrogen, the second is Phosphorous and the third is Potassium (potash), which
is the “N.P.K.” on most bags of fertilizer. “25-7-14”
(high nitrogen) might be good for your lawn, but harmful for other plants.
If you get the “N.P.K.,”
and in addition, Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur, you’ve probably got it all for
most of the plants in your garden. The problem is that one kind of plant needs a
certain ratio of those elements, and the one right next to it might die from
that dosage. If I can sum up the class, I think the best way to do all this is
to hire a good gardener. Not a “mow and blow” guy,
as Mr. Quezaida called them, who use lawnmowers to cut down your lawn and then a
power blower to fling the clippings away, but someone who understands the
science behind what he is doing. My apologies to all you gardeners out there,
but after taking Mr. Quezaida’s class, I think our gardens are in need of more
help than we thought.
And that’s basically what WE need in life. We need HELP;
we need a REAL “Gardener,” One who KNOWS what He is doing! And in that context,
have you thought about Genesis 1:11-12? Here’s what it says: “God
said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit
tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the
earth’ and it was so… whose seed is in itself
according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”
Did you see that? God CREATED grass, trees, shrubs, and
all the rest, including humanity. He understands nature like we don’t because He
INVENTED it. And even more, He merely SPOKE and it all came into existence. And
we can see His original intention in creating it all: “It
was GOOD!” The frustration we experience from all the death and
difficulties in this world was absolutely NOT His first intention for this
earth: Life was to be “GOOD” for you and me. But
“sin” entered the picture and everything became confused. We don’t know what to
do, for even when we try to do it right, circumstances like “thorns
and thistles” get in the way.
Mr. Quezaida, the instructor, recommended that when we
don’t understand why our leaves turn yellow or have little holes in them, it’s
time to break off a sample and take it to a real gardener. Go to a reputable “nursery”
and ask them: “What’s wrong?” The instructor gave
us the names of a few nurseries that he said would be able to help us. And
that’s a good idea. If you’re not an “expert,” and most of us aren’t, you need
someone who KNOWS. As all of us know, by the way, there are much worse problems
in life than yellow or white leaves on rose bushes. You’ve probably noticed that
the “thorns and thistles” God spoke about are not
merely in the plant kingdom, but much worse, those words speak of our
employment, our marriages, our children, and our very lives!
And often we don’t understand WHAT is involved with our
problems. In addition to the outward things of this natural world, there is a
much bigger set of circumstances in the universe, summed up by the phrase,
“SUPER-natural.” There are beings, good and bad, who affect our lives in ways we
don’t understand. Just like we don’t know whether it is insects, bacteria or
whatever that makes the little holes and the whiteness on our rose leaves, we
don’t know REALLY why we lost that job, that marriage, and we don’t know why the
But the Master Gardener does know. Better than a “mow
and blow” guy, better than going to a “nursery” where they sell plants;
best of all is to go to the One who invented everything in the first place. So
often, human advice comes to us in the form of: “Well, you might try (this or
that);” suggesting that the advice-giver doesn’t know a lot more than we do. We
need to go to the Top, to the One who really KNOWS! Jesus said, “He
who abides in Me… bears much fruit” (John
15:5). We must go to the Lord, for He knows what we need.
To have fertilizer dumped on our "garden,"
our life, doesn’t sound so good, except that just the right amount of it
provides growth. The proper soil is important. All of us have been in the wrong
setting in life, and in Christ, we are taken out of our previous setting and
transplanted into just the right “soil” so we might grow. God knows the
nutrients and minerals we need, and He will bring us out of darkness into the
proper light. He has a plan for you. In Genesis, God put the “man”
in a “garden.” He had a work for him there, one in
which there were no “thorns and thistles” at all.
God has a "good" plan for your life also, and He
who knows you will bring it to pass.
Go to the Master Gardener today. Tell Him about the “thorns
and thistles” that trouble you. He has the right solution in mind that
will alleviate your situation and bring you peace, along with wholesome
productivity – forever. Let’s do it now.
Lord, I entrust myself to you. Life often doesn’t go
like I hoped and I need you. Forgive me, Lord. Fill me with Your Spirit
and give me Your peace. In Jesus Name. Amen.