A Tower Garden of Faith
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:4-5, NASB).
Friend to Friend
Anyone who knows me well also knows that I can kill any plant. If you are thinking you have some foolproof gardening tips that can help me, think again. Trust me when I say that I have already heard and tried whatever tip or technique you believe will transform me into a master gardener. It won’t.
But I am not a quitter! What some might call stubbornness, I prefer to call perseverance. And that perseverance has finally paid off! I am now the proud owner of a tower garden.
A tower garden is a vertical aeroponic growing system that allows me to grow up to 20 vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers in less than three square feet—indoors or out. So it’s the perfect solution for people like me who do not have a green thumb. You simply fill the basin with water, add the liquid nutrients that come with the garden, and pop in seedlings that sprout and grow within a matter of weeks. No dirt. No digging. No green thumb required!
When my tower garden arrived, I quickly…
…put it together and placed it on our deck. As Dan inspected my new adventure, he smiled and said, “Well, good luck, honey.” I could hear the doubt in his voice but refused to let it deter me from my goal to become a real live gardener.
I was so excited that I even took pictures and sent them to our children. Our son texted back, “Seriously, Mom?” Our daughter at least tried to be a little more encouraging with, “Interesting! Good luck, Mom.”
I read and carefully followed the step-by-step directions as I planted my first set of seedlings, giving each one a loving little pat while praying they would flourish. The thought that I could actually provide food for my family was mind-boggling! Every time I walked by the tower garden, I prayed that the seedlings would grow.
After one week, the seedlings doubled in size! What? And then they took off, growing and producing tomatoes, peppers, squash, lettuce, and various herbs. The cherry tomatoes confiscated an entire corner of the deck. We couldn’t eat them fast enough, so I used them to make salsa and marinara sauce! Me! I did that! At long last, my dream had come true! I was a gardener!
I sat on the deck one evening, listening to the water flow through the tower, bringing nourishment to the roots of each plant. It occurred to me that I am much like that tower garden … or I can be.
When I plant the seeds of God’s Word in my heart and mind, He promises to make them take root and grow. My job is to pray, while lovingly and faithfully tending those seeds of truth with prayer and service to Him. And one day, they will produce fruit that will not only feed my heart, mind, and soul, but the heart and mind of those God choose to place in my life as well.
Kansas summers can be brutal. During a particularly hot stretch of days with temperatures soaring into the upper nineties every single day, a summer storm rolled through our neighborhood. We lost power for several hours. It did not occur to me that a loss of electricity would turn the water pump off – until I saw the wilted leaves hanging from the tower. I scrambled to get the water pump going again and managed to save most of the plants. But I lost some. The same principle applies to my life.
When I fail to nourish my life with God’s Word or time spent in prayer, my spiritual roots will begin to whither and my life will bear little fruit.
Scripture tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. When we hear those words, we assume the Bible is describing the kind of faith we read about in the lives of the disciples as they healed the sick, made the blind to see and performed miracles in the name of Jesus. It is! But that faith began with a tiny seed.
Jesus tells us that we don’t need a lot of faith to produce great results. We just need to be sure where that faith is planted. And once planted, it will grow if we faithfully feed and water it.
If you need help learning how to trust God, get Mary’s new book, 10-Day Trust Adventure, now available in hard copy.
Perfect for personal or small group study, this book addresses the decisions you have to make in every area of life and teaches you how to make those decisions as you step out in faith and trust God.
Mary Southerland is an author, international speaker, Founder of Journey Ministry, and Co-founder of Girlfriends in God. Her books include Hope in the Midst of Depression, Sandpaper People, Escaping the Stress Trap, Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry, Trusting God and Knowing God by Name.
Mary’s heart passion is to help women discover and live out their God-shaped identity and purpose in life. Connect with her on her website, Facebook, and Twitter!