Watering the Garden

I’ve never had a green thumb.  In fact, my thumb is black and brings death and destruction to all plants that come near.  I once killed a cactus.  I’ve attempted countless relationships with flowers, and they all ended very terribly for the flower.  The first summer we lived in our house, I thought it would be a great idea to plant some wildflowers in a small pot.  The pot ended up blowing over in our lovely West Texas winds, and a few weeks later my entire yard was completely covered in wildflowers.  In a scary, the plants are taking over kind of way.  

Recently, however, my friend Callie gave me an Aloe Vera plant.  I’m unsure as to why she decided this was a good idea.  She has known me for a long time, and is familiar with my gardening fails.  But she offered me the plant, and because I have people pleasing tendencies, I took it.  I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous.  I knew that this poor plant’s life was about to end at my hand, and I would have to break the sad news to Cal.  By the way, she’s amazing at gardening.  She grows trees, and flowers, and food.  What?  How am I supposed to tell her that I killed her sweet gift to me?

Surprisingly, it’s still alive.  And it’s been several weeks.  I’m just as shocked as you are.  The Aloe Vera plant is actually doing very well.  It’s grown.  Can we call her Vera?  That seems appropriate.  Vera is not only still alive, she is thriving.  I have an alarm set on my phone to remind me every day to water her.  I usually only water every other day, though.  I don’t want to drown her.  Been there; RIP Cactus. 

It really hasn’t been hard keeping Vera alive.  It takes a couple minutes to fill a pitcher with water and take it outside and water her.  It’s all about consistency, much like most things in life.  It isn’t hard at all to water a plant.  It’s making the task a priority, and sticking to it even when you don’t feel like it.  Keeping Vera alive has taught me something.  Something I already knew, but needed to be reminded of. 

Spiritual growth is a lot like keeping Vera alive.  Little acts of obedience every day.  Even when I don’t want to.  Even when I’m tired.  Being consistent.  I’m not going to just magically wake up one day and be spiritually mature.  It takes work.  I’m pretty sure, speaking from loads of experience, if I stop watering Vera she will die.  Spiritual growth is a lot like that.  If I stop pursuing growth, and change, I’m going to become stagnant in my walk with God.  I may not actually die, but I won’t be producing those fruits of the Spirit that Galatians talks about.

Please hear me when I say this: No amount of good works can save my soul.  Only Christ’s sacrifice on the cross can do that.  However, out of love and gratitude for that great sacrifice, I want to cultivate a life that consistently pursues God.  I have to keep watering Vera.  Some days will be harder than others.  Let’s be honest, some days it’s hard to do just about everything, and spiritual disciplines aren’t immune.  But I have to create a habit of consistency.  A habit of discipline.  I have to keep watering the garden, or Vera, and my spiritual life, will wilt.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.”

Psalms 37:3

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