As I was reading this morning in Jeremiah, I had this picture come to mind about a garden. Based on the landscape, the direction of sunlight, a Gardener will plant seeds in strategic places so that each would get the water and sunlight needed. He will know how far apart or how close together. A Gardener will tend the garden, pulling weeds, pruning, making adjustments, putting up fencing if needed so that the garden will grow into its fullest potential. What would happen if the garden rejected the Gardener from doing what He thought best?What if the plants decided that they liked weeds? What if they wanted to drink something besides water? As a plant grows, it can only see so much. A plant can’t see it root system. It can’t see where weeds might be choking its growth. A plant can’t see if harm is entering. A plant can only give opinions by what it sees. A weed may look pretty and complement their own color. The fence might feel restrictive and ugly. A plant might be jealous of what row it was planted in and be mad about another plant getting an outside view.
This might seem silly, but isn’t that how it is? We didn’t create this world. We don’t know best. We don’t understand why we need water instead of beer to be hydrated. Well, maybe we know a little bit, but at the end of the day, how much do we really know and understand? Trusting in the Creator of all things, including me, can bring incredible freedom when we let go of our own opinions.
As the Israelites were taken captive, generations after generations of people who refused the “Gardener’s” way caught up with them. After so many attempts, what was the Gardener to do? He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. He simply invites. So the Gardner let them “take care of themselves.” The effects to me our not necessarily punishment, but the result of what happens when we are out of the presence of God. When God is not on the throne, the only option is chaos…overgrown gardens with an unknown of what was planted where and being taken over by weeds. Fruit and vegetation grow less and less. The reality is without the work of the Gardener, we can only produce death. There might be glimmers of life here and there, but everything is temporary and fades away.
It sometimes takes the absence to realize what is necessary. When we deceive ourselves, it is hard to see clearly. Yet as time moves, the results are evident. It is obvious to see what garden is being taken care of and which ones are left to their own devices. I desire to walk humbly in a way that trusts God, especially when I can’t see or understand. I want to be able to always admit that I need a Gardener…I can’t do this life without Him.