by Lisa Tuttle
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11
With the coming of fall last year, my children returned to school, taking the baby of the family with them. For the first time in twelve years, I found myself alone during the day and decided to tackle my much neglected landscaping. In a fit of creative energy, I visited the garden center down the road and bought bulbs and plants that, come spring, will flower in vivid shades of red, yellow, and purple.
With my minivan full of mulch, cedar, and plants, I returned home and tore up the flowerbed beneath our living room window. After three hours of digging, fertilizing, transplanting, and watering, my creation was complete.
Yet much of my work and the beauty of my plantings cannot be seen today. I will have to wait until spring for the tulips and daffodils to bloom. The crocuses and bluebells will lie dormant in the ground until the warm weather returns. For now, I content myself in knowing that a garden of color and beauty lies beneath the surface.
As I sat and pondered my little flowerbed, I realize how God must feel as he waits for me to grow and blossom. Before my birth, He planted gifts deep inside me, knowing it would be many years before those talents would spring to life and show forth the beauty of His creative plan.
During the winters of my life when the garden of my heart shows no bloom, or when weeds threaten to crowd His beauty from soul, God is a faithful gardener. He tends the ground of my heart, watering and fertilizing in the expectation of a spring season.
Father, Thank you for planting gifts and talents inside each of us and for faithfully tending those gifts, nurturing them into fruition. We submit all that is within us to You and pray that You would use us for your glory. Let all that we are, all that we do, and all we will someday become testify to Your goodness. In Jesus name, Amen.