Walking in my garden at the break of dawn is a sweet joy. As the gravel crunches underneath my feet, the faint scent of ripe tomatoes join the delicate vanilla-like fragrance of white simplicity roses. This early morning ritual is a gentle but gratifying pleasure and never more so than in midsummer when the garden is at its most abundant.
Tending Equals Abundance
Abundance is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? What do you picture in your mind when you think of abundance, especially abundance in a garden or a vineyard? I imagine thriving green leafy plants weighted down with ripe luscious fruit and earthy vegetables hanging on thick stems. My particular garden has been a good teacher on this topic, for I’m learning I cannot have abundance–whether the growth is physical, spiritual or emotional–without tending, or caring for what I have. It is the tending that helps to promote healthy growth; you cannot have one without the other.
A Broader Understanding
What does it look like to tend God’s particular purpose or calling in our lives? This is a question I wrote in my journal in the early spring of this year, asking God to give me a broader understanding of this in all the different aspects of my life.
As our team was planning each of our issues of Salt+Clay ezine this year, we wanted them to clearly reflect a particular theme. Cultivate seemed a natural fit for our first issue, a nod to the season of Spring–gardening, preparing the soil and breaking up the earth. We also thought the connection was compelling as it relates to cultivating the soil of our souls and hearts. For the Summer issue, the idea of Tending made the most sense. With preparing and planning behind us, summer is all about tending and maintaining what has been planted.
Pruning for Higher Yield
Even though I am an amateur gardener, I understand a healthy and properly tended garden means a higher yield. For this reason, a big part of tending is pruning. Pruning maintains and improves plant health by forcing growth back into the roots and stems of an existing bush, flower, or vine. The gardener knows this will benefit the quality of flowers, fruit, and foliage.
Pruning is also done to change or train a plant’s growing pattern or to restrict growth. John Chapter 15 holds the clearest examples of this when Jesus says, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
Made for Abundance
What does the garden of your life look like right now? Are you seeing branches hacked off, feeling a bit bare and sparse? Or is your life a scene of flourishing and abundance? Wherever you find yourself, remember your Heavenly Father loves you and won’t stop tending to your life. The most fruitful and the most joy-filled Christians are those that are most pruned. If our lives bear fruit God will intervene with His spiritual pruners. His purpose is to cut away immature commitments and lesser priorities to make room for greater abundance for His glory!
This summer may we move from “fruit” to “more fruit,” from a basket with some fruit in it to one with an abundance. You have a divine appointment to live an overabundant, more-than-fruitful life and the key is found in John 15:5 when Jesus says:
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
Experiencing the sweetest abundance of all is in the mystery Jesus calls abiding.
We hope you will join us in this season as we lean into this idea of tending our lives towards greater abundance. We would love for you to see what we’ve been up to! You can do so by downloading your digital copy of our newest issue of Salt+Clay, which focuses on the different aspects of tending in our lives. You’ll find essays, inspiration, and ideas illustrating rhythms both spiritual and practical of what it looks like to tend our relationship with God himself and how He tends to us.