If you’re familiar with the Bible, the Parable of the Sower fits right in with my own metaphor of God the Gardener. The soil is the human heart, the seed the Word of God, but I want to focus on details of the good soil. The prepared soil. Rocks have been removed, hard ground has been plowed, weed killer has already been worked into the dirt. This soil has been given every advantage to help the seed sprout.
And I shamelessly admit that I’m tweaking the metaphor, so while the ground is still the human heart, the seed is the Word-nourished fruit coming from the God-prepared human heart.
Who plants the seed? Not the seed itself. The gardener picks up the seed and places it in the ground. The gardener covers it with rich, fertilized soil.
The gardener waters the soil where the seed is planted. She pulls weeds when any pop up. With the passage of time, her garden is filled with healthy fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
What did the seed do all that time? It grew. It didn’t try to. Other than accepting the service of the gardener, it just grew.
New life in Christ works like the seed. God plants you in His garden. God takes care of the watering and the weeding, and you just grow.
You accept His gift of salvation, and you allow Him to direct your growth. You drink in the water He offers. You’re grateful when He removes any weedy sin that bothers you.
Do you ever DO anything? Sure you do. As you grow, you’re producing fruit, and your Christlike actions do good.
At some point, my metaphor falls apart. The seed does not have a will of its own. The gardener is not all-powerful. Storms can decimate a flower garden. Insects and disease can destroy entire crops. And a farmer is helpless.
Since you, as a human being, have a will, you can refuse to be planted in God’s garden. You can blame God for everything in life that isn’t fair. You can reject the water He offers. You can slap away the hands that would destroy the sin as they protect your soul. If you put up barriers to His Light, the darkness will stunt your growth and eventually, you will wither away. No fruit. No life.
But if you are willing to do nothing except let God take care of everything, you’ll be amazed at the eventual abundance in your life. All a seedling Christian needs to do is grow. Don’t worry about adverse circumstances. The Master Gardener has things under His control. Don’t strain to “grow the right way.” God is taking care of it.
As a Christian, you have one directive: turn your face to the Son, the source of life, the One who planted His Word in the prepared ground of your heart. He’ll take care of the rest. And you will grow in spirit and in truth.