Friday, January 6, 2012

Master Gardener

I woke up one morning after a hard week with two words on my mind:  Master Gardener.  I saw it there, with my eyes closed, the first letters of the words were in caps.  I knew Jesus was referring to Himself, but I didn't know what to do with it. 

So, what else would a Bible loving gal do?  Type "Master Gardener" into Google.  And throw in Spurgeon for kicks...cause right now, his sermons speak deeply to me.

The sermon that popped up has brought comfort and healing and release and hope.  It is sermon #1699 titled "Supposing Him to be the Gardener."  "Behold, the church is Christ's Eden watered by the river of life, and so fertilized that all manner of fruits are brought forth unto God; and he, our second Adam, walks in this spiritual Eden to dress it and to keep it; and so by a type we see that we are right in supposing Him to be the gardener."

Some key paraphrased thoughts...

Is it not amazing that God has planted a garden of righteousness and beauty in this sterile waste of a land where sin has corrupted everything in sight?

In this wilderness of sin, God has ordained his children to bring forth fruit and to create beauty and sweetness where thorns and thistle reside.

What patience of the gardener to look at what we could be with some tender care instead of plucking us up and discarding us with disgust.

If we have been planted in his garden, then we have duties...the first being joy.  He is as much a tender gardener to me as to the most beautiful and exquisite plant.  He cares for me in the same way and has special purposes for me...even if I am drooping and growing downward, he is going to make the best of me.

Another duty is to value and pray for His presence.  Only as He watches over us can we bring forth fruit and become who He created us to be.

Another duty is complete surrender.  We must yield entirely to Him.  A fruit tree is no judge of when it needs to be "pruned or digged or dunged."  "I would neither have will, nor wish, nor wit, nor whim, nor way, but I would be as nothing in the gardener's hands, that he may be to me my wisdom and my all."  I think that would be a beautiful way to start praying.  Submission is easy once we relinquish our rights as being the gardener.

The last duty is that of bringing forth fruit to Him.  Christ sacrificed all for us..."we are bound to reflect credit upon so great a teacher, upon so divine a name."

This next point has resonated so clearly with me:  if Jesus is the Gardener, then I am set free from crushing responsibility.  I often get broken hearted because nothing seems to flourish or grow.  I often feel the weight when I disciple and see no fruit.  I often take this as condemnation from the enemy.  If I am not the gardener, then this is not MY responsibility...this responsibility of what lives and what dies, what goes by the wayside and what thrives is not up to me.  This simple thought can save me from a multitude of anxiety.  I can continue to help Jesus in the garden, knowing that it isn't MY garden.  I can do the little He has put in my charge and leave the rest to Him.

I can also be set free from fear.  If there is discomfort and disarrangement, then it is the Gardener at work.  "He had been cutting, and digging, and hacking, and mess-making; and all for the good of the garden." I been pruned and clipped, but I can rest knowing it is grace.  All is grace.  Suffering bereavement, I can say that it is the Gardener who plucks his flowers.  He plants.  He has the right to gather. 

Our only hope lies in the fact that Jesus is the Master Gardener.  Master of Beauty and Kindness, we can expect Him to work out the best possible prosperity.  He will come and dwell among us and fill us with all the fullness of God.  We can't ever lose sight of the fact that one day, he will pluck up the garden as a whole and usher it up to a place where the inhabitants of the garden will be like the Gardener.

This is such a sweet sermon...if you would like to read it in full (and be blessed much deeper than my simple paraphrase) then it is here.  I like to print them out and savor them while I have the time.  Have a blessed weekend!

1 comment:

Bugs and Sunshine said...

Pass that plate that sermon will preach!

I started Attributes of God last night-the thought of God being Joyful as he created. So neat.

Love your heart!