by Reverend Joshua Kang
What do you know about gardening?
“I know one or two things about it,” you might say, because you have been doing it for some years and have learned valuable lessons.
My wife and I were delighted to get a vegetable bed at the Community Garden in Grand Forks in the middle of May this year.
Having our first garden in this area, we were so excited about cultivating the soil by taking out the weeds, digging the earth and putting some organic fertilizers on it.
A few friends from my church shared tips on the timing for the planting that they had learned over the years, such as sewing seeds two weeks after Victoria Day or a few weeks from the full moon for certain plants.
We forgot all about those tips when we had some hot days in May!
We thought it was perfect timing to plant the peppers, tomatoes and lettuce, thinking, “Hey, what could go wrong? It’s common sense that as long as there is sunshine, good soil, and water, the plants will grow healthy!”
One night in late May, a hail-drive frost unexpectedly hit the garden, wiping out all my plants.
As we were pulling out the dead plants in front of a few gardeners, I felt like an idiot.
“We should have listened to the words of the wise!” I told myself.
Don’t you think life is like gardening in some ways?
Many times, the garden of life pays off your hard work. At times, life does not go according to your good feelings. You might have a friend or family member diagnosed with cancer, even though they seemed to be in good health.
Frost and hail of some sort can always come on you like a thief in the night, ruining the things you value.
Nobody predicted the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 3.8 million precious people globally.
The deer can jump over the fence of your garden of life and feast on those hard-worked-for vegetables, leaving their droppings as a thank-you note.
At some point, each of us will no longer enjoy the bountiful harvest from our garden of life, due to health reasons, aging and death.
Who do you turn to for advice for fruitful gardening for your soul and life – your current life on earth and beyond?
Who would be the best gardener who knows all about your whole being and the garden of the world?
From a biblical perspective, the person is God, who reveals Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15: 1, 4).
Even if you are not a believer, you would still admit Jesus Christ as one of the greatest teachers who guides us into the light.
The Lord knows all about the gardening of our heart and life to make it fruitful for eternity, because He is the creator and the sustainer of the universe and us.
As more things are opening from the COVID-19 lock-down, it is a season for the gardening of your life.
I pray that you allow the Lord to take over the gardening business of your soul and entire life, so that you can be fruitful and victorious in whatever you do.
As you do that, I am sure that you will be like “a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1: 3).
May God bless you!
Reverend Joshua Kang
St. John’s United Church
Grand Forks, B.C.