Sometimes life leaves our hearts hardened like a garden plot in a drought. The surface is cracked, broken, and has no growth or beauty. God is the master gardener and there is nothing too difficult for Him to handle. When we surrender our lives to Him and seek Him with all our hearts, he removes the rocky ground and prepares our hearts for deep growth and renewal in Him.
Colossians 2:7 “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (NLT)
How can God change our hearts? Let me share a story about my Papa.
As a girl, I use to spend summers in Westville, Oklahoma with my grandparents. Westville is covered with ROCKY ground – yet my Papa was determined to grow the best garden ever.
The first step was removing all those rocks. It was HARD work. First, he would remove the rocks by hand, throw them in a wheel barrow, and haul them away from the garden spot. He used these big rocks to create pillars held together with chicken wire around the edge of his property. These big rocks did not go to waste. They were part of the blue print of the property. They were removed from the garden plot, but transformed into a protective boundary around his land.
Removing the rocks was only the beginning of the work. The ground was full of Johnson grass, a weed that is a huge PAIN to get rid of. Those weeds had to be hand pulled. If you just till the ground, they will continue to take root, grow and kill the garden. If you use weed killer – it hurts the soil.
I remember at our own place in Kansas, my dad had us girls pull the Johnson grass right after a rain. The ground was muddy and easier to work. Some of those strands were a good six to twelve feet long. We got in the muddy mess and pulled those weeds out by the roots. It was hard work! Our hands where cut and blistered by the end of the day but the weeds were GONE!! Had dad made us do it when the ground was dry, we would have NOT been able to get down to the roots. The secret was working the rain soaked ground.
After the ground is free of rocks and weeds, then you till the earth to mix the depleted top layer with the nutrients buried underneath. You see, the weeds have already drained this top layer of dirt from most nutrients. Any new shoots of seed would quickly use up the “left-over” nutrients in the top soil and then die out with basic starvation. However, when the ground is tilled, it blends in fresh, nutritious soil from deep under in the ground and creates a steady sustenance for new growth. This soil represents the Word of God.
After Papa was done with all his work, time, sweat and blood – his garden was BEAUTIFUL!!
Our hearts are a garden plot waiting to be cultivated. When we come out of a life of sin or abuse – our emotions, soul, mind, and body need time to cultivate and heal. The first step is to remove the rocky ground. It is work! We have to actively seek God and ask him to show us areas that need work, and areas that need to be removed from our garden-plot. God will transform those rocky areas into a protective border around our hearts.
Next, we need to let the RAIN of the Holy Spirit flood our life through reading God’s Word, prayer and praise. As He rains down, the ground of our souls will become ready to pull out roots of sin, bitterness, unforgiveness, doubt, and anything that will destroy our faith in God. As we recognize an area that needs to be rooted OUT be willing to turn it over to God and pull it up and out of your life.
I did this by confessing the area to the Lord when I recognized it; and by looking up scriptures on each area of damage in my life. When I recognized I was dealing with anger, then I looked up and wrote down all the scriptures I could find on anger. I memorized them, prayed them, and asked the Holy Spirit to convict me when needed. Eventually the anger began to subside. I did the same thing when I recognized I had fear, nightmares, doubt… on and on. One emotional damaged area at a time. Be patient with yourself. Don’t be afraid to carry the “rocks” to the Lord or to pull the weeds out.
Finally, we are ready to have the depleted top soil tilled with the nutrients of the Word of God. The soil represents the whole Word of God working in our lives, developing our character in God, and feeding the fruits of the Spirit in us until we spring forth with new growth.
We have the tools for change. God gives us a dose of faith, self-control and will power. He gives us strength, courage, and hope. He gives us his Word and the comfort of His Spirit. We are not abandoned. We are not alone.
Yet, He does expect us to make an effort. We have to cultivate our attitudes and renew our minds, and be willing to grow and learn. We have to begin to turn all areas of our lives over to God – one rock at a time – insecurities anger, doubt, depression, and fear. When we recognize the source of our pain – we have to carry it to cross, lay it at His feet. Give it to him, fill your heart and mind with the Word of God, and your life will begin to be free from the pain.
Never give up on your healing. It is hard work! Hang in there!!! Jesus loves you! ♥
Donna Wright © 2012
John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.