By: Caren Nicholson, Leadership Team
One of my favorite hobbies is gardening. Growing up, we had a vegetable garden and my mother always had flower beds, but I had enough of vegetable gardening growing up on a farm. Our garden was more out of necessity than pleasure since there wasn’t a lot of money when I was young. However, the thing I dislike even more than vegetable gardening is RASPBERRIES. As a teenager my mother would wake me up at 07:00 in early July to pick raspberries. I would tell her I’d do it later but she would say “you know, if you wait until later it will be too hot.” “Fine,” I’d say, throwing my covers off and stomping downstairs to the raspberry patch. My mother was very industrious selling the raspberries to the local grocery store and used the profits to buy carpet for the house or whatever else was needed. Even though I don’t like raspberries today, I did learn to love flowers from my mother.
I’ve been living in my house about 6 years now and believe this is the first year I have really enjoyed my garden. I’ve had to battle deer, squirrels, chipmunks and voles, but now the Iris are huge, the sunflowers attract butterflies and I’m stopped in my tracks with the sweet aroma of a beautiful rose bush.
I’ve been reflecting on God’s character and have come to realize how He is revealing Himself through my garden. First, my garden reflects God’s beauty. Isaiah 33:17 “Your eyes will see the King in His beauty and view a land that stretches afar.”
Second, I see nature praising God. I was with my grandson at the park one day. He was doing typical boy stuff beating the grass with a stick and waving it around. I noticed he was near an Austrian pine tree. Have you ever noticed how the branches lift up toward heaven as if they are praising the Lord? Isaiah 55:12 “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
And finally, my garden reveals God as the creator. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
I’m in awe that the world was created by a deliberate action of God. I’m learning that God reveals himself through nature and we can learn about God’s character through what he has created. I just have to make sure I’m listening.