For many years my wife and I had a garden each summer. These gardens ranged from small to gigantic. Every spring I had to till the ground and go through the backbreaking chore of planting the seeds. Once the seeds were in the ground, all I could do was pray that plants would germinate and not get eaten by rabbits or birds as soon as they appeared.
There is no way to drop a seed in the ground and the next day have an ear of corn or a succulent tomato. There are no short cuts when it comes to the time needed for a seed to become a plant and the plant to produce fruit. Gardening is NOT something an impatient person should try unless they are interested in learning what patience, persistence and endurance really mean.
So many things enter into the equation as to whether a garden planted in the late spring will produce abounding fruit in the summer. Weather conditions play a huge part in the success or failure of any crop, but especially a garden. Drought, too much rain, late cold snaps and withering heat all can diminish the and quality of the fruit.
Other perils in gardening are disease, insects, inferior seeds and WEEDS. As the garden progresses, the unending fight against weeds trying to take over the fertile soil for themselves is the gardener's nemesis. I can remember many years when it looked like the garden would produce bumper produce only to see it swallowed up by weeds, devoured by bugs or destroyed by a sudden hail or wind storm. Gardening is not for the faint of heart.
The goal of having a garden is fruit, whether edible produce or beautiful flowers. Nothing is as fulfilling as harvesting beans, corn, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, melons etc and then eating them while they are freshly picked. Heaven on earth is found in picking an ear of corn and immediately cooking it and enjoying it. The same holds true for anything grown in the garden.
Time and again the topic of fruit is mentioned in the Bible. In the New Testament there are references to the fruit of the spirit, the fruit of righteousness and the fruit of right believing among others. Fruit is the external manifestation of God's garden within. As we abide in Him, remain faithful to His Word and do what God asks us to do; we will produce fruit and that fruit is what attracts others to God.
Yelling at people does not entice them to become Christians. Berating people, looking down on them because they are sinners or rubbing their noses in their sins does not motivate them to come to the Lord. Jesus said that by our fruit we are known. The more Godliness we manifest in our lives the more fruit we will have to share with others.
When we cultivate God's garden within us, take the time to remove the weeds and chase away the pests and do our best to walk with God; He will in turn water that garden and make it grow. The fruit of God's garden within is full of love, joy, peace, patience, humility, giving and service. When the fruit in our lives is from God, we are then the witnesses God called us to be.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see a crabby and unhappy person being eaten by the worms of doubt and worry or a joyful child of God resting in faith? Do you see an angry and mean spirited person ready to pounce on the nearest sinner or do you see a contented child of God full of hope, peace and love? Whatever you see is the reflection of the fruit you are producing within. I pray we all allow God to make His garden grow and the fruit we manifest is from HIM.