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God's Garden
Photo:  Gwen Simmons
Anyone who knows me very well knows that I am a gardener. In the spring, I can be found preparing the soil, buying seeds and plants, working in my garden both at the crack of dawn and at the set of sun. Then come the joyous months of weeding, feeding, and harvesting! Even in winter, I'll be found nestled in an afghan poring through gardening magazines. I also work at the local greenhouse where I have the joy of sharing tips with customers as well as gaining knowledge from other gardeners. I have many reasons for my gardening passion, but my greatest joy comes from working (and playing) in partnership with God.

For example, there is no end to the object lessons for life that can be found in the garden. Everything from preparing the soil and planting seeds to enjoying the bounty at the supper table is a colorful illustration of life and growth. I find miracle after miracle surrounding me in my plot of ground that God has allowed me to grow in myself! As I plant the seeds and the baby plants, I wonder at how my efforts can bring such rewards. And then I remember that it is God's hands that truly bring the miracles. It is my privilege to do the physical labor (play), and then to ask for God's blessing on what I've placed in his care.

Cheap Therapy

Also, I am grateful for all of the mental and physical benefits God provides from my garden. Having struggled with depression in earlier years, gardening has been instrumental in bringing me calm and peace. I listen to birds singing and breezes rustling the leaves, breathe fresh air and soak up the sunshine. When a customer hints that the plants they are buying are a little expensive, I always say, “They're cheap therapy!” Good health is found in abundance from the garden and not just in the form of the nutritious harvest.

Sharing with others is a trait of God, and by having a garden, I have the joy of partnering with Him by sharing the bounty of harvest. Who doesn't love fresh tomatoes and beans and cucumbers?

Learning about life, reaping harvests of mental and physical health, and then sharing those miracles with others makes my garden a kind of sanctuary. A place where God and I meet together to work and to play, to teach and to learn. Of course, I'm doing all of the learning, but what a joy to be taught by the true Master Gardener.

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By Gwen Simmons. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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