Gardening involves dirt, water, sunshine, and seeds. The earth is quite literally the foundation of our efforts, so making sure the soil is fertile is an important first step in an ongoing process. Likewise, the planting of seeds and along with consistent care and tending of our garden will reward us at the proper time with a harvest. Likewise, our personal growth, relationships with others, and even our faith need tending.
What does it look like to tend the garden of our soul and our relationships so that healthy growth and fruitfulness are the results? The Cambridge Dictionary defines tend: to minister to the needs of, look after, to wait.
I’m discovering more about this word tend by working in my garden. I can’t make my plants grow but I can foster their environment to help them do so. This involves weeding and watering, making sure the soil has all the nutrients it needs, taking out any impediments to their growth. Daily garden checks, looking for possible problems with the plants, staking up tomatoes, deadheading. All these practices together are what make it possible to have a healthy and fruitful garden. It’s this regular tending that helps to ensure abundance.
While we have an active part in paying attention to our own lives, God has designed us to partner in cooperation with Him so that we’ll be fruitful. Jesus’ words in John 15:8 declare that “it is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit…” and if fruitfulness is our goal, pruning will be a big part of the process.
God, the Master Gardener assesses what needs to be pruned, and His care for the fruit is paramount. He is intricately attuned to the details of our soul and the movements of our hearts, how He formed us, and how He made us. There is no other time that the Gardener is as close to the vines as when He is pruning them. His knowing hands tenderly grasp the cluster of grapes- the fruit of our lives- as He bends low, peering into the tangle of vines He lovingly determines what to cut away and what should remain.
God is always about ministering to our hearts, minds, and belief systems– the truth as well as the lies–we tell ourselves. He is tending to us for future service and greater blessings and has a plan that far exceeds what our minds can conceive. He wants to graft into our spirits renewed hope and inspired vision, tilling our heart’s soil to grow something fresh and beautiful to take root in our souls. He wants to deepen our impact, stretch our faith, and widen our influence in a way that fits us perfectly.
Jesus promised us an abundant life, which involves copious amounts of fruitfulness, the lavishing of His love, abundant supplies of strength and courage, and profuse amounts of generosity. This is the life that Jesus is intending us to live. Each and every one of us has a divine appointment to live an overabundant, more-than-fruitful life.
“But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!” John 10:10 TPT