The Garden

Thursday, September 17, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Safe In The Arms Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

I am a busy piano instructor, who had to adapt fast to online lessons in late March. I wrote in my journal on my smartphone, "I hate this! Let me back into my piano studios." By May, I started to adjust and began to think, Remember when I had a vegetable garden, when the boys were little?

I spoke to my friend Shannon, an experienced gardener, and following her advice, my garden has largely been successful — my first one in about 25 years. I bought container boxes, soil, and plants — tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower. I transplanted the seedlings in the first week of June, the best time in Winnipeg. One of the tomato plants died because I forgot to drill drainage holes into the boxes. After I drilled many holes near the bottom of each container, the garden started to improve.

Then in late July, two more tomato plants had died. Then, I looked at the maple trees. My vegetables were not getting enough sunshine because of the shade from the maple trees. I had never trimmed them for the 32 years that I had been living in my house. As I pruned the trees with my son's help, the tomato plants continued to improve. I needed to tend to both the vegetable garden and the maple trees. They work together. I am still learning how to garden. These plants needed drainage and more sunlight.

It is lovely to work in the garden with assistance. In the same way in life, God works and we work — together. God is not finished with me yet.

Romans 11:16b-18 – If the root is holy, the branches are too. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. (NASB)

As I attend to the maple trees, I think of Christ, the Root. The thick stock of the maple trees reminds me of the elders at my church. They are older and wiser than I am. They are there and listen patiently to us members, the branches, and they give wise advice. I miss visiting with them. I do telephone them and pray for them, and I encourage you to do the same. The elders are a gift to the church, hard-working and wise.

Prayer: Lord, we are part of the body of believers, whether we worship together or apart. But we are never apart from You. We all depend on You. Thank You for our ministers, elders, church administrators, members, adherents, youth leaders, family members, and friends. Thank You for this network of support that You have provided, especially for Christ, the Root, Who nourishes us all. Amen.

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About the author:

Jo Ann Sutherland <>
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true. Thank you for the illustration.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Jo Ann.

    Thank you so much! What a good devotional!

    Great reminders, thank you Jo Ann and God bless!

    All these small details really help me see the whole heavenly picture, Jo Ann! Thank you for an apt and timely writing today.

    Thank you for your Devotional today. I enjoyed your comparison of the garden and God. I also appreciated your comments regarding church elders.

    Dear Joanne:
    God bless you dear lady. Such wonderful, wise words!
    Keep up the great work the Lord has gifted to you.

    Really enjoyed your devotional.
    I do hope all your work in the garden produced a bumper harvest.
    God bless.

    Thank you, Jo Ann, for your devotion.
    I enjoyed it very much.
    Keep up the faith,

    A lovely devotional today, Gail! I was just reading in the Bible the other day about smiling and having a happy heart and a cheerful mind, so your words come with good timing!

    Dear Jo Ann,
    Thank you for the encouraging devotional on your garden experience and how it relates to your relationship with your church and God. May you enjoy the fruits of your garden and the fruits of the spirit.

    Isn’t this the truth! I trimmed trees this year after I puzzled why things didn’t grow as they used to grow. I marvelled at the roots of weeds and trees as well. I couldn’t help thinking of being grounded in our faith. Gardening is such a great way to connect with God. The frost last night certainly moves us into the next stage doesn’t it. Thanks for writing.

    Good Morning Jo Ann. Thank you for this morning’s devotional. You certainly got to “the root” of the matter.
    And speaking of roots… I learned a little late this year to put a banana peel in a quart sealer, fill it with water, let it sit for a day or two (I do it for 2 days), then water your tomato plants at the root, your plant will flourish and produce abundantly. I tried it on 2 plants 3 weeks ago and my plants have tomatoes now.
    Doesn’t this fit in well with your devotional?
    Take Care, Keep Healthy and Keep writing.

    I am by no means an expert gardener, but I really relate to the idea of Christ the root.

    Hi Jo Ann,
    Thank you for your devotional “The Garden” and its important message. I really enjoyed reading it!

    Thank you for your great devotional. I also live in Winnipeg and know how hard we work to get our plants to grow. You have given me a new perspective. Thank you and God bless you/keep you safe and healthy. Your friend in Jesus.

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