Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
I thought about this nursery rhyme as I viewed my little vegetable garden upon the return of a recent trip away from home. Even though I had only been away four days, things had really changed with the condition of the vegetables and fruits in my garden plot. The cabbages, brussel sprouts, brocolli and cauliflower had all come under attack from an insect, probably caterpillars or some sort of worm that had been eating away on the leaves. The tomatoes and strawberries had over ripe fruit and there were weeds and grass growing with glee between the rows. My, how things change quickly in just a few days! It is the same way with our spiritual gardens.
Matthew 13:25 (NLT) "But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away."
The garden of our hearts can come under attack quickly. If you don't believe this, just let someone hurt your feelings, or tell a lie about you to someone who is important to you, or steal from you, or, well, you get the picture. We walk a fine line between good fruits and weeds growing in our hearts. We are spirit and flesh, the two must dwell together. We are susceptible to things showing up in our spiritual garden just like the garden in my backyard. It is best to stay on top of the situation and remedy things before they get out of hand or else the weeds and insects will multiply and eventually completely destroy the good fruit.
So what did I do about my garden dilemma? Gathered the ripe fruits, attacked the insects and removed the weeds. What should we do when anger, offense, jealousy, doubt and fear show up in our hearts? Gather our ripe attitude with confession in humility, attack the sin with repentance and forgiveness, then remove the destructive power of the enemy by bringing our heart's garden back to spiritual fruitfulness.
Galatians 6:7 (NLT) "Don't be misled--you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant."