by Beverly A Brown, Set Me Free Ministries Prayer Coordinator
If you follow our blogs, you know that my husband and I recently transitioned to retirement living. One of the benefits of that is a garden! That might sound odd, but The Landing has a wonderful garden plot divided into several smaller, manageable plots that residents can claim. I have always wanted a vegetable garden, so I put my claim in for one this spring. I knew some of the basics, and there is a gentleman here who has been so gracious and offered me some tips along the way. But, I'm still a novice and know I have much to learn.
I went down to the garden this morning while it was still cool and began my work of weeding and watering. I noticed that my tomato plants are beginning to show exposed roots, so I tried to do some patchwork by putting soil around them to protect them. When I got back to our apartment, however, I went to my computer and looked up "exposed tomato plant roots" and discovered that one of the causes is thirsty plants. This can be caused because the roots were not initially planted deeply enough in addition to underwatering. If you don't water deeply enough, the roots will come to the surface, looking for water, thereby exposing themselves. I might not know much, but I know that isn't a good thing.
Almost immediately, I began to think about the comparison of my tomato plants with their exposed roots, seeking for water, and those of us who are constantly seeking the Living Water that only Jesus Christ offers us. The scriptures are filled with references to this Living Water that brings refreshment and life itself. Psalm 42 is one of my favorites because it is a vivid picture of that longing to have our thirst quenched both physically and spiritually. "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." vs. 1-2
If I don't begin to change my watering habits and make sure my poor plants have deep roots, they will fail to bear fruit and eventually wither and die from thirst and exposure. Psalm 1:1-3 compares a tree that is planted by the rivers of water with the man who meditates day and night on God's statues. He will bring forth fruit in season, and his leaf will not wither. It even says that whatever he does will prosper! Contrast this with verses 4-5, which describe the ungodly man who has no water and becomes like the chaff that the wind blows away. His outlook is not as optimistic. In fact, God warns that a day of judgement is coming when his wicked deeds and shallow roots will be exposed.
As soon as I close out this blog, I'm headed back downstairs to my garden to water more deeply so those roots go down deep into the soil and become strong. After all, I'd like to see a few tomatoes grow this summer. If they don't, not much will be lost except my pride. Likewise, if I don't water my soul with God's Word and allow His Truth to go deep into my spirit, I will bear little or no fruit in my life. The consequences of that are much more serious than no tomatoes. They are eternal.