The Gardener

Saturday, October 1, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise"1 (Lyrics)

1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (NKJV)

One morning in late August found me deadheading geraniums and collecting tomatoes from my garden. As we were approaching a change in season, I looked at a few plants that needed cutting back so that they will return next year. I couldn't remember if it was the proper time, so I turned to Google for answers. If my dad had been alive, I would have asked him. I learned a lot about gardening and life from my dad. I even have his gardening books from when he went to school, and I cherish these as I thumb through the pages of information, feeling just that little bit closer to my dad.

In England, my dad was a gardener and he was instrumental in making and tending the Garden of Remembrance in the cemetery where he worked. When we emigrated to Canada, he continued in his trade as a landscaper. Our front gardens were always well kept.

As I grew up, probably one of the more important lessons that I learned from him occurred when he let me use the riding lawn mower. I cut a swath right through the middle of the large front flower garden, as I was waving to the neighbour and wasn't watching where I was going.

Now that Mom and Dad are both with Jesus, if I have learned one thing in the past five weeks since my mom's passing, it is that Jesus and only Jesus can give me the comfort that I need. I am now an orphan on this earth, but what is in store to come for me is so much more. I have learned to lean into the greatest Gardener of all, Jesus. He tends my hurts and He sends the right people with the right words or gestures that soothe the soul. Yes, grief is individual and seasonal, but Jesus is right there with us through it all.

John 14:18 – I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (NKJV)

What about you? How can you be a light and source of hope to someone today, and the day after that, and for all your days?

The passing of people in our lives will happen and affect us all. Even in our grief, we can still be a comfort to others in more ways than we know. We can tell our story to others. We can come alongside others during different seasons of their lives. Most importantly, I believe that as we draw close to Jesus, He will prompt us to draw close to others. If you were to pray about it, in the season in which you are now, how might Jesus use you? As He says, "I will come to you." He comes to us through other people, and He comes to other people through us.

Isaiah 41:10a – Fear not for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. (NKJV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, how do we ever thank You enough for what You have done for us? Thank You for being the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort that we have received from You. Amen.

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About the author:

Julie Bowles <julieanni@rogers.com>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing the good word.


    Thank you, Julie, for this encouraging message.


    Lovely. Thank you. Be blessed and know what you do is gift.


    Beautiful is the lasting memories Julie which blesses. In Christ’ service.


    A beautiful post that honours your parents and points us to Jesus for hope and light. Many thanks and may God continue to bless you!


    Thanks for the great message you sent on Presbyterian devotion. Keep up the great work.
    (On)


    Dear Julie, Thank you for your touching devotional. I feel that I also am an orphan and you helped to remind me that I am never alone. You gave all readers encouragement and advice to help with their faith. Thank you.


    Dear Julie,
    I found your gardening experience as you told about your dad, the story, and application, and presence of Jesus very comforting today. Thank you for writing.


    Julie: Thank you for your message today. My parents enjoyed gardening as well and have passed their knowledge along to me. It is a heartwarming image of peace and comfort. Deepest sympathy on the death of your mom. Peace to you and yours.


    This message comes the day after Reconciliation Day for indigenous peoples. We worship the gardener – creator God and not creation, that passes with each season. Like the hymn we praise God immortal and eternally wise ready to support us always.


    Hi Julie
    Well said! I think your father taught you something much more important than a love of gardening…. a love of Jesus!
    Blessings.


    Julie, your garden memories brought to my mind the record in John 20:15 when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and mistook Jesus for the gardener. I liked that you referred to Jesus as a great Gardener. He does work and tend the soil of my heart in so many ways! Thank you for this wonderful devotional.


    You speak to a lot of us, Julieann. A friend here lost her husband a couple of years ago, and we have often commented on how it must feel to lose someone and not be a Christian…no hope.
    Thank you for today’s writing.
    (Texas, USA)


    Dear Julie
    Sorry for the loss of your mom. I lost my husband a few months ago and your writing today is so on spot. God is truly with us and He has perfect timing for what we need. My mom loved gardening and I enjoy my gardens also.
    Thank you for sharing.
    God bless.


    Dear Julie thank you for your meaningful writing this morning and condolences to you in the recent passing of your mother. We are so fortunate to have our loving Lord ever available to hear our pleas and comfort us in so many ways. As we enjoy such caring comfort from Him, we need be ever ready to reach out to others who are in stress or anxiety and offer them support. These days our world is truly in need of more people showing good harmony with each other. Blessings for your writing.


    Thank you for an encouraging word today, Julie. May God continue to comfort and bless you amidst this period of grieving. Becoming an orphan, even as an aging adult, does leave one with an oddly strange and empty feeling. I have found that feeling has never completely gone away. But the companionship of Jesus makes it bearable, as do my memories which seem to arise just at the right moments. Memories which keep my loved ones close to me in spirit, something l find very uplifting much like a warm and tender huge.
    Be blessed.


    Good morning Julie,
    Thank you for the very encouraging devotional that reminds us of Jesus’ comfort to us when we need it and the many ways He offers that comfort to us. It was good to hear your memories of your dad as a gardener and your drive through the garden as you waved to the neighbours. All gardens can do with a good shearing once in awhile, I am sure.
    People can relate to you message even if they are not gardeners because we all have felt comforted in our lives. God is walking with us and carrying for us. We can then reach out and comfort others as you recommend.
    The world needs lots of people to reach out to others each day. Thank you for sharing and good gardening. Blessings.


    So beautifully written. Just what I needed today. Thank you so much.
    Blessings always.


    Thank you, Julie, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. May God
    continually bless you God yours. Blessings.

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