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By Darlene L. Turner

“So the ones who water and plant have nothing to brag about. God, who causes the growth, is the only One who matters.” 1 Corinthians 3:7 (VOICE)

Growth starts with a little bit of love and maintenance.

This applies to our gardens and our hearts.

Recently, I planted my vegetable and flower gardens. Oh, how I love to get down on my hands and knees and dig in that dirt! Yes, it can get messy, but there’s something about getting into God’s soil that soothes the soul. Don’t you feel closer to Him?

It’s also a great time to think. I love to plant my garden and then watch it grow, but this year as I got on my knees to prepare the soil, it reminded me of how parallel our lives are to planting. Growth needs a little bit of help from us, but ultimately, it all comes from God.

How does planting compare to nurturing our hearts?

We need to get rid of the excess dead growth from the past. Over winter the soil has perhaps gone bad or there are dead vines and weeds that need to be pulled first before new growth can begin. I had to remove excess withered vines from my morning glories so they wouldn’t smother the new seedlings as they popped through the ground. Don’t we need to do that in our own lives? We have baggage from past hurts that hover around us like annoying flies and we need to swat them away. God doesn’t want us holding onto “weeds” that can stunt our growth and make us bitter. Pull them out!

Plant, water, and wait for growth. Once my soil was ready, I dug rows, planted my seeds, and watered. I love to check my garden every day to see if the plants have sprouted. What about my heart? I’m going to be honest lately I’ve been feeling stagnant. I haven’t seen growth in my life and it’s all my fault. I haven’t watered my spiritual life by digging deep into God’s word like I should have and really taking time out for Him. How can I expect to grow without nutritional help? Shame on me. I’m going to correct that by doing some Bible studies and spending more time on my devotions. How about we water together?

Pull those pesky new weeds. With gardens come those annoying weeds that creep up from nowhere. How do they grow so fast? We need to pull them before they overtake our entire gardens. As Christians even though we think we’ve moved on from the hurts in life, sometimes they can creep in at the most subtle of times without us even noticing. We need to stay grounded with constant communion with God. The Holy Spirit will help us get rid of those pesky annoyances!

Blessed by gifts of beautiful flowers and delicious veggies. After weeks of watering, weeding, and lots of maintenance, we’re rewarded by God’s wonderful creations. There’s nothing better than fresh veggies and a beautiful smile from a morning glory! God can take sinners like us and after nurturing through time with Him and His word, turn us into stronger children. Praise Him!

Just like our gardens need a little bit of watering and weeding to produce amazing produce, God can develop His broken people and turn them into who we’re meant to be.

Hearts meant for His service.

Darlene L. Turner’s bio

Darlene L. Turner writes romantic suspense. Her love of mystery began as a young girl when she picked up her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her own writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and changed by the Christ-centered message. She’s had numerous articles published and is a Craftsman Alumni of the Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild.

She’s a finalist in the 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence contest, Great Expectations contest, and a double semi-finalist in the 2017 ACFW Genesis contest. She won the 2016 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the Golden Leaf Award, placed second in the Indiana RWA Golden Opportunity contest, and was a finalist in the 2016 ACFW Genesis contest. She lives with her husband in the Forest City of London, Ontario. She blogs weekly at where she believes there’s suspense beyond borders.