Saturday, February 15, 2014

God: The Companion Planter

Over the last few weeks, I've been examining the conditions that must be present for seeds to grow and drawing spiritual applications from these conditions.  Earlier, I stated that to thrive seeds must...
  • be planted in the right kind of soil
  • be placed at the right soil depth
  • be situated to receive appropriate sunlight
  • be spaced adequately apart
  • be distanced from certain other plants
While I believe these statements to be true regarding physical seeds, I think that most are also true about the way God plants seeds of truth in our lives.  As the Master Gardener, God prepares the soil of our hearts to receive truth and plants the seeds of truth at just the right depth and location so that these seeds will begin to grow--if we allow them.  I'm frankly wondering, though, if the analogy breaks down at this point.  Does God plant seeds of truth so that they'll "be distanced from certain other plants?"  I'm not sure.  

The practice is certainly applicable in the vegetable garden.  A quick web search reveals many lists of good and bad companion plants.  For instance, Burpee Home Gardens asserts that these plants aren't good companions:
  • onions and beans
  • tomatoes and cabbage
  • cucumbers and aromatic herbs
  • cabbages and dill, strawberries, and pole beans
As their website indicates, such plants should be "placed in different gardens or opposite ends of larger beds." Why?  Answers vary.  Many websites simply state that onions and beans, for instance, are incompatible. Others say that onions and beans will stunt each others' growth.  I have yet to find a definitive answer.  

When it comes to the planting of truth in our lives, God certainly may choose to withhold some truth until we're ready to bear it (see John 16:12) while at the same time allowing us to accept or reject that truth (see James 1:22-25).  God, as sovereign, may also orchestrate events in our lives to limit our exposure to untruth--those "incompatible plants" that would stunt spiritual growth.  After all, everything "pertaining to life and godliness" is a gift of God (see 2 Peter 1:3-4). 

As my examination of God as the Master Planter comes to an end, I rejoice in my relationship to this loving, faithful, knowing, careful Gardener!  

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