Gardening Instructions for Our Souls

Written by Plant With Purpose on April 15, 2014 in General

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With the arrival of spring, Plant With Purpose has been focusing on gardens through our From Poverty to Plenty campaign. During Holy Week, we shift our attention to the analogies found in Scripture that point us back to the garden and cultivating our relationship with the Lord. Enjoy the following reflection by Callie Radke, our spring grant writer intern.

The other day as I stood looking out over the ocean with a friend, we realized that nature didn’t taint itself. In fact, the beauty and growth we see in God’s green things may well be one of our closest representations of heaven. There are so many references to cultivating the earth in the Bible. What if planting a garden became our model for growing our souls?


One of the first things you have to do when you start a garden is clear a space for it. The ground has to be cleared of weeds, rocks–anything that will keep plants from thriving. If we aren’t receptive to what God has to plant in us, our soil won’t be receptive either. Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”


Choosing and planting the perfect seeds in the perfect conditions is so important – you wouldn’t sow seeds in a downpour. They might all wash away! It’s amazing how this literal truth parallels a spiritual one. James 3:18 tells us that, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” We are called, then, to plant in the conditions of peace.


Watching a garden grow as you water and feed it is one of the most exciting steps. Slowly, shoots start to come up and new life is visible. As you cultivate your inner garden, take heart in this promise from Isaiah 58:11, “The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” 


Gardening, both literally and spiritually, is hard work. It takes getting down on your knees and feeling the dirt between your fingers. After a long day, that might not sound appealing. But we have another promise in Galatians 6:9, “ And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Find life in what you plant–the more seeds you sow, the more that will grow.

In the end, you have to rely a lot on the warmth and light from sun to help your seeds along. Luckily, we have a spiritual sun to help us along too, “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow” 1 Corinthians 3:7.

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