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In the Garden

He waters the mountains from His upper chambers;

The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.

He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth. ~Psalm 104:13-14

Spring is here and yet it is almost summer! Time for the gardening season to begin. I could spend hours and hours wandering around my local garden store to look at all the plants and learn about the different varieties of flowers and vegetables. Gardening draws my heart to God. There is just something about it; all of this life and beauty is His creation and it's an amazing display of His handiwork.

O LORD, how many are Your works!

In wisdom You have made them all;

The earth is full of Your possessions. ~Psalm 104:24

I am amazed every year how when I bury into the dirt what looks to be dead, life sprouts up in a matter of days.

Seeds are planted in the dirt. They are covered by darkness and get soaked by water until the hard outer shell softens. First, tender roots break out and grow down into the soil. Next, the life hidden inside the seed struggles to push its way out of the darkness and into the light where it will bloom and bear fruit. What an incredible display of God's power. It's amazing how He can take something that looks dead and bring it to life over and over.

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. ~John 12 :24

In the fall I harvest seeds from my Cilantro plants. The plants are brown, dried up and completely dead at this point. Seeds form in tiny little balls on the end of the plant and they look like nothing, yet they hold the life of a new plant inside each one. I collect them and bring them into the house for the winter. In the spring I take them out of their hibernation and put them back in the ground. Within days, they come back to life and become rich, vibrant, green goodness that makes my homemade salsa burst with flavor.

In the dying the seeds went dormant and stored up life inside them. It was the dying that brought all the new life about.

It is no different for us, right? It is in the dying that we find our real life. Dying to our selfish nature and dying to sin generates the seed of Christ's life in us. Burying ourselves in the Word and being watered by the Holy Spirit breaks down our outer shell until a beautiful green shoot springs forth and bears much fruit.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. ~Matthew 16:24

What needs to die in your life, dear soul? What do you need to deny so that you can have life more abundant? Do you trust that God can help you in this painful process? He is more than enough. When we let go of our grip and our stubborn stance, He shows up. We can't generate new life in our souls, only He can when we die to self. And there is nothing He wants more for you than to give you an abundant life!

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." ~John 10:10

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. ~Colossians 2:7

Pray with me...

Heavenly Father, You are an amazing God. All glory and all praise to You. Thy kingdom come and thy will be done. As we seek Your heart; Your will for our lives; and to know You more, pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us. Like a drenching rain upon the garden of our souls, pour down on us. Penetrate Your Word deep in the soil of our hearts and teach us. Teach us to walk closer to You. Teach us to trust You more, and to be unafraid to lay down our lives, day by day. Reveal to each of us what needs to be surrendered, and what needs to die in order for us to have a life more abundant. Show us how, Lord. Take our roots deeper, and out of the new life in us produce beautiful fruit filled with the aroma of Christ. All for Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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