The Word of the Lord
Genesis 1.29-31: Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Genesis 2.8-9: Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.
Most of us don’t need to grow vegetables and fruit. We buy them in stores and markets; yet, many of us have gardens. There is joy in enriching the soil and nurturing seeds to full growth. We delight to see our own flowers grow and bloom, crave succulent fruits from our trees and yearn to stimulate taste buds with fresh-grown herbs. There is something inherently satisfying about gardening.
I have always lived in rural areas where almost everyone has a garden. Yet, I know urban dwellers have gardens. They use raised beds and tub gardens on patios and balconies. Individuals’ gardening instincts shouldn’t surprise us. Our spiritual father, God, was a gardener, the producer of all vegetation and fruits on earth. Gardening is in our genetic makeup.
God’s plan for us is to live with plant creation. God wants brightly colored flowers and leafy trees to delight our eyes and soothe our spirits.
The value of plants goes beyond food and beauty. In both Testaments, plants were teaching tools, i.e., illustrations in warnings, parables, miracles.
What do you see when you view your garden (and plants)? Do you go beyond looking at them as a whole and focus on the beauty of each? Do you imagine the produce you will have from them and how yummy it will taste? Alternatively, are you thinking about the myriad of challenges in your life so that you don’t see the beauty in front of you?
Think about plants in your garden or in your home. How do they give you joy in addition to their beauty?