Garden Lessons About Faith and Prayer
By Lisa Lothian
I love the new life that springs forth in the spring and summer seasons. I’ve been an avid gardener for many years, and I enjoy it—despite the fact that sometimes there is little to show for it. I begin the gardening process so enthusiastically every spring. A great deal of sweat equity goes into our very large gardening plot. My husband and I work to improve the soil with nutrients, and we weed thoroughly before planting.
Earlier this year, my husband used timber from our property to create lovely raised beds. God even gave us a special blessing by providing a free truckload of wood chips from a downed tree in our neighbor’s yard! My husband later told me that that same day he had talked to the Lord about needing to find an affordable source of wood chips for the garden. This answer to prayer reminded me of the words in Matthew when Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7, NKJV). God pays attention to all the details. He wants us to remember that when we talk to Him, He hears and answers.
I have a recurring problem with my garden every year. Despite careful soil preparation, planting seeds, and the unexpected blessings we often receive, by late July or early August, I have so many weeds I get overwhelmed. Our garden resides on a piece of property we do not yet occupy full time, so our time there is limited to weekends and an occasional weekday. We garden by faith. We trust God to send the needed amount of rain to water it regularly, and to protect our crop from the hungry animals who challenge the strength of the surrounding fence! We do our part, then we trust God with the outcome.
Somehow, every year, God has faithfully provided an abundant crop of fresh, beautiful vegetables. The return is always much more than we can use. This enables us to share with others, preserve what we need, and even feed the persistent woodchucks that take up residence on our property every year.
I vividly remember an experience I had in late summer two years ago. It had been a particularly exasperating summer as our twin teenagers were going through a challenging adolescent phase. It was difficult for everyone in the family as we had not tread these waters before. One evening as I prepared dinner, I looked out over the garden. It was such a mess that if you just glanced at it from a distance, you could easily mistake it for an overgrown weed patch. I knew we had a variety of greens, squash, string beans and tomatoes hiding somewhere in that jungle of weeds. After all, we had worked hard, and planted the seeds in well prepared soil. I ventured into the garden to find whatever I could. To my surprise, despite the appearance and reality of all the weeds, I was able to harvest a huge bag of beautiful vegetables! It was so much more than I had expected. I just had to look past the weeds.
When I brought everything inside and began cooking, emotion overtook me as God spoke to my heart and reminded me of His faithfulness. His says in Galatians 6:7 that we reap what we sow. It is a natural law of life. When we do our part, God does His part. Greater still was the reminder that as Godly parents, we are responsible for sowing seeds in our children. Even with the weeds that may sprout, we will see precious fruit from the seeds that are sown. God’s Word promises it.
My husband and I have prayed for our children faithfully every single day from the time I was seven weeks pregnant. We intentionally practiced and believed the words in Deuteronomy 6:7-8. But, inevitably weeds have crept into the lives of our children over the years. God has assured me, however, that just as I was able to harvest an abundance from my garden, despite the weeds, this same reality will unfold with our precious children according to Proverbs 22:6. God’s Word will not return void (Isa. 55:11). I take great encouragement from that beautiful object lesson on a hot summer day a few years ago. As I began the gardening process earlier this spring, I looked forward to the delicious vegetables that would come. But, more importantly, I have seen and continue to look forward to the harvest of God’s Word manifested as a result of prayer and faith in God.
Lisa Lothian is a registered nurse in Westchester County, NY. She loves intercessory prayer, teaching, journaling and encouraging and discipling women. Her greatest desire is to be a blessing and witness for Christ in her everyday associations which she sees as divine appointments.
World Church Prayer Requests
June 17 - 23, 2022
- Pray for Holy Spirit wisdom for Ted Wilson (General Conference president), Erton Köhler (General Conference Executive secretary), and Paul Douglas (General Conference Executive treasurer), as they continue to lead the church forward these next three years.
- Pray for wisdom and blessings on the returning General Vice-Presidents: Guillermo Biaggi, Abner De los Santos, Thomas Lemon, Geoffrey Mbwana, Artur Stele, and the new Vice-president’s Audrey Andersson and Maurice R. Valentine.
- Pray for the newly elected, or re-elected, General Conference departmental leaders and administrators, that are beginning new roles as of the General Conference Session in St. Louis.
- Pray that church members everywhere would take the General Conference session theme to heart: “Jesus is Coming, Get Involved!”
- Pray for the July 2nd Quarterly Day of Prayer based on the theme “Praying the Three Angels’ Messages.” For materials, click here!