Have you ever thought of your heart as a garden? God showed me this connection several years ago.
Getting My Hands Dirty
We bought the house we live in now about 12 years ago. We have since done some major renovations, but before that, I had a smaller garden area in the back of the house. The previous owner had started this flower garden, but my neglect had caused it to become over-ridden with weeds and dead plants.
When my second child was a toddler, I decided to start dealing with that garden area. This was also a time in my life when God was doing some significant over-hauling of my heart. There were so many broken pieces that I had mishandled for far too long and He was finally getting His healing hands on those shards. So, God used this debris-filled garden to speak truth to my lifeless heart.
One of the first things I had to do to prepare the garden for fresh, vibrant plants was to purge it of weeds. I was eager to get some pretty new flowers, so I rushed into the job of removing the life sucking, ugly weeds. I was a lot more difficult to do than what I had thought!
It only took a few attempts with my shovel to realize that the roots underneath were hindering my progress. I got down on my hands and knees and started pulling on some of those roots. I was surprised to discover that these weed roots did not go straight down. Instead, they traveled across the flower bed!
I used all of my strength to pull and dig and pull.
As I dug and pulled, God spoke to my heart. He told me that the weeds in the garden were just like the weeds of my heart. They spread out across as well as down deep. As they spread, they infected the healthy, vibrant parts of my heart. These weed roots sucked the life out of the healthy areas of the garden. They crowded the nutrient rich dirt, preventing the new, robust flora to be planted.
He needed to eliminate the awful weeds so that He could plant new life in my heart. And in order for Him to get every bit of root out, it required a lot of digging ploughing on His part.
It will be uncomfortable.
It will be painful.
It will be full of sorrow.
Unhealthy things I held on to would have to be let go of.
But the result will be glorious! The newly dug up soil will be exposed to life giving oxygen. It will be easy to work with and fertile for new life. Newness will thrive and be nurtured. There will be abundance of beautiful colors and fragrance.
The garden of my heart needed tending because it had been neglected for so long. I left wounds and hurts far beneath the surface of the ground ignored, allowing them to be entangled with sinful, cynical roots. The longer it was left untended, the more difficult it was to plow and weed.
It took time and a lot of work to get that little garden area cleaned up. There was so much debris and ugly weeds!
The newly dug up dirt was so easy to work with. I could effortlessly push my trowel into the loose soil. The earthy smell was a welcome reward to my soul. It was reminder of all of the hard work that had been done, the incredible development and care of my heart.
New life was ready to be planted! I was so excited!
Each plant would have more than enough room to grow and blossom.
I tenderly took each special plant and lovingly placed it in the wonderful smelling earth.
There was just something about this accomplishment that brought much healing to my shattered heart.
The pieces were being put back together by the One who molded and knit it together long ago. He knew where every single shard belonged. He knew the pattern of my heart. Only He could put it back together.
The Heart-Healer Brings Life
Neglecting the heart is never a good thing. Our hearts offer the well spring of life and we must, above all else, protect and guard it (Proverbs 4:23).
When we neglect caring for our hearts, for our spiritual well-being, weeds creep in. Many times, these weeds aren’t easily seen. They move stealthily into our hearts. They slip in underneath, hidden from view. And it’s only when we begin using it, we discover the intruder.
Our Heavenly Father never meant for us to have hardened, weed infested hearts. But because of sin, weeds are everywhere. They are not always avoidable.
But we can take heart.
There is One who is more than willing to roll up His sleeves and begin digging into the depths of our heart gardens.
He will help us remove those dreadful, heart-killing weeds.
And He will help us to plant new life and beauty in our softened hearts.
Because He makes all things new.
Aimee is a home educating support teacher who lives in the sunny Okanagan, BC. Aimee has been blissfully married for 17 years and still swoons at the sight of her tall, dark and handsome husband, Marcus. When she isn’t home educating her 3 kids, she enjoys sewing, quilting, scrapbooking and hanging out with her family. She blogs over at A Work of Grace. You can find her on facebook, twitter or Pinterest.
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How have you been neglecting the garden of your heart? What areas do you need to let God prune and refine you?
This post was shared with Grace and Truth,