How Does Your Garden Grow?

Written by Patty Parker
KidStreet Ministry Specialist

My little family has started watering our neighborhood’s flower beds at the entrance to our subdivision. It’s only twice a month (as we are on a rotation schedule) but it is a pretty big deal especially to our 4 year old son. After only one month on this grand adventure just 5 minutes down our sidewalk, our son now proudly points to the flowers every time we leave our subdivision. “Mommy! There’s the flowers we watered!” This past Monday, it was our turn to water the flowers. As soon as my husband arrived home from work, we loaded up our son and daughter in the little red wagon and buckled the baby into the stroller.

When we approached the flower beds, my son unbuckled himself, hopped out of the wagon and eagerly held up his water cannister to be filled with water. Not far behind was his two year old shadow holding up her itty bitty watering tin. Once their containers were full, they set off to water the flowers and plants returning to myself or my husband only for refills on water.

As I watched them, I was truly amazed. This was only our fourth time watering and yet they knew exactly what to do. Granted their technique needed a little tweaking here and there. “Don’t pour too much water. The flower just needs a little drink.” “Don’t forget that bush. It’s thirsty too!”

Despite their need for guidance, they didn’t just stand there. Mommy and daddy had given them the tools they needed, shown them what to do, worked alongside them and now they knew what to do.

We, too, have an example we can follow; that of Christ.

 

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2, NIV)

Another translation encourages us to:

“...be imitators of God…” (NASB)

My two year old adores her brother and currently copies EVERYTHING that he does...good or (to mommy’s dismay) bad.

She imitates him. If he stands on the couch and jumps off, she stands on it and jumps off. If he tells daddy, “I love you!”, she tells daddy “I love you!” And she does it with such enthusiasm.

God’s Word tells us to imitate Christ just like a child mimics the actions of others. God wants us to be as enthusiastic in our imitation of Christ as a little girl feeding her baby doll while mommy feeds her baby brother, or a little boy, with his plastic tools, measuring and cutting right alongside his daddy in the garage.

We may not get it right every time. In fact we’ll need guidance, encouragement, correction.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16,17 NIV)

How’s your garden?

Do you have those in your life that can help you grow? Are you walking alongside others to encourage them in their growth?

“Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24, 25 NIrV)

If we keep at it, we’ll see the fruit  (or plants and flowers) of our labor and that will be quite a garden!