New Life…New Beginnings

“Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” ~ Romans 6:13

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in my garden lately. And – as Easter has drawn closer – I’ve found myself comparing the new life in the ground before me to the new life we find in Jesus. As I tend my garden I realize that my heart needs tending every bit as much as the ground I kneel on.

New life – new beginnings – brings promise. What is not always seen at first is that the Promise needs room to work.

This is my first time to give gardening a go and – I have to say – I find it challenges me every bit as much as it inspires me. I very carefully planted row after row of all the things I could imagine seeing on our family dinner table over the course of the spring and summer. Succulent melons, squash in every variety, juicy tomatoes, vibrant red and yellow peppers, aromatic herbs…

When everything was in the ground – staked, labeled, and ready to go – I stood at dusk and watered the plot of land that would soon bring forth the bounty for my table. The smell of freshly tilled earth mixed with the deep red clay of East Texas was enough to make me close my eyes, breath in deeply, and smile with deep-down pleasure.

It was going to be good.

My idealism over how well my garden would grow was quickly squelched at the appearance of …weeds. Hidden at first, they began to slowly break through the soil, as though peeking around to make sure they could creep in, undetected. They seemed so harmless, in fact, that I walked away those first few days, still certain that nothing could deter the promise of a full harvest.

It took a few days, but then I began to notice how the weeds seemed to be growing stronger while my plants began to show signs of battle and fatigue. The healthy, luscious leaves of my vegetables began to droop and wilt with the effort to maintain life. The herbs – so full of aroma – began to bend into the wind, as though giving up in defeat.

It took this awareness – this knowledge that something was invading and seeking to destroy what I had so painstakingly placed in the earth – for me to take action. I went to my knees, prepared to do battle myself, wrangling the weeds, cutting them off at the source of their power, kicking them out of the boundaries of all I held dear.

Life is like that, isn’t it?

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” ~ 2Cr 5:17

We lovingly plant the garden of our life, heaping mounds of fresh love and devotion to the many hopes and dreams we place in the soil of our hearts. We water them with prayers and with tears of thanksgiving and praise.

It is going to be good.

But then the weeds creep in, slowly at first, as though peeking around to make sure they are undetected. Busyness, sickness, responsibilties…things that seem harmless at first. So we walk away, confident that nothing will deter the promise of a full harvest of the heart.

The seemingly harmless soon leaves us helpless though, if left on our own. The healthy, luscious leaves of our soul  begin to droop and wilt with the effort to maintain the rigors of life. The sweet aroma of life begins to wan – and we start to bend into the wind.

We go to our knees and do battle in the only way we can. We pull out the creeping vines that tangle with our thoughts and hopes. We prepare to do battle, wrangling the weeds, cutting them off at the source of their power, kicking them out of the boundaries of all we hold dear. We secure faith, and then water it to make sure it can begin to grow again. We take a moment and remember that new beginnings and fresh starts can only come when properly tended.

This Easter I am remembering my Savior – the ultimate Gardner – and the painstaking way he tends to my heart and cares for my life. Beneath His hands, I am a plant with a hope and a dream and a promise of continuous new life in Him. As His plant though, I must yield to the pruning of my soul. I must submit to the tending that must occur to allow room for new growth.

The Promise comes when tended.

“He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.” ~ Titus 3:5

3 Responses to New Life…New Beginnings
  1. Cheryl
    April 23, 2011 | 9:46 pm


    I loved reading your blog. For the last couple of days I have had the pleasure of working in my mothers flower beds. Pulling weeds and planting new plants for her. I have been humbled and honored to do this for her because I know she would rather be the one working in her yard. Just this morning she told me with tears in her eyes that she has got some of her best blessing working in her flower beds. While she works she prays. I have learned some very vaulable lessons from her that I will take to my grave. It is very peaceful when your hands are in the soil, pulling up the weeds and creating a beautiful flower bed.

    May you find some great blessings while working in your garden.

    Love you girl,

    See you soon.


  2. deb
    April 24, 2011 | 11:34 am

    Thank you for this…the weeds of life sometimes take over and this is a wonderful reminder what I need to do! Have a wonderful day!

  3. Jen
    May 14, 2011 | 6:14 am

    I prayed and this is where I was lead. I am humbled and grateful for your words. Too many “weeds” can creep into our lives and try to smother out all of the good. I needed to hear this, told exactly this way. Thank you and blessings to you!