Dear Tilly is my rototiller. She’s not actually mine – I’m just ‘borrowing’ her from my mom! I remember Dad faithfully using Tilly every year for Mom. (He didn’t know her name though! 🙂 ) I guess it’s the farm girl in me, but I love to put on my dungarees (I just love that word! It sounds so much more “farmy” than jeans 🙂 ) and head for the garden to till it up. Now Tilly is old and tired, but she starts right up purring like a kitten. She does have a little cough every now and then, but that doesn’t stop her! She’s not as strong as she used to be: she’s had a rough life. I don’t know how many years my folks used her, and I’m not even sure if they bought her new. Then she sat in the shed for about eleven years. The wasps got at her and there was water in the engine. She was a mess; so, we took her to a dear older man in our church, and he got her chugging again! There are so many lessons to learn while gardening. Tilly taught me a few today:
- She’s old and ready for that big junkyard in the sky, but I still have some work for her to do. I feel that way sometimes. I understand Paul’s statement more every day: ”For me to live is Christ, to die is GAIN!” I may be old and achy, but God still has a few things for me to do – you too (even if you’re not old and achy!)
- When I hit a stone, Tilly just jumps all over like a bucking bronco! How do I react when God puts me in a tough spot? We’re in a battle, dear friend. Life as a Christian is NOT easy. There are lots of rocks that can really jolt us, but God will pick out the rocks. Our job is to stay the course!
- I let go of Tilly for a moment to check my watch. Do you know what she did? She went her own way – the easy way: down hill and through the already tilled spot! Isn’t that just like us? We want the easy road, and oh, how lost we would be if God let us go our own way!!
Half the garden is tilled, but that’s the easy part. I’ve just finished raking all the big stones and weeds that have the nerve to already be sprouting. From my kitchen window, it looks pretty good. To the casual passerby, it looks ready to plant; however, I know better. I will need to go over it again. Why? Because there are lots of roots yet to be dug out, and I need to go deeper into the soil.
Are you looking good on the outside but a little weedy on the inside? God knows and sees all the weeds that need to be tended to, and YOU are the only one who can dig them out. God might come at you with a tiller: a dear Christian friend or pastor or radio speaker who uses the Word to dig at that nasty weed’s roots, but YOU need to pull them out. The Bible only mentions one root:
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you,
and thereby many be defiled;” (Heb 12:15)
What a nasty root – its parallel for the gardener is the dandelion. If you’ve ever tried to pull one out of the ground, you know that they have a tap root – a LONG STRONG root. You will need a tool to dig it out, and if you don’t get the whole root: Surprise! – another dandelion will appear. Notice that the root of bitterness not only troubles you, but MANY are defiled! It’s like acid rain that poisons everything in its path. You will need the Word of God to root that one out! Memorize a verse like Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Then we need to dig deep into God’s Word. I’m honored that you have taken the time to read this, but be sure that you are taking time for yourself in God’s Word – just you and God! Go deeper: look up cross references; use a commentary; look up words you don’t understand; get a pen and notebook and write down your thoughts.
“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12 Wow! What a verse, but that one needs a whole other blog! 🙂