Soul Garden

Are you tired of being afraid? Does fear dominate your life? Fear has been a constant companion for as long as I can remember. How about you?

My mother used to say I was the easiest child to discipline. She attributed my tender heart and need to be with people as the reason. To correct my behavior, all my parents had to do was look at me with the slightest bit of disapproval or isolate me from family and friends. Although I was loved unconditionally, fear of disapproval lodged in my heart. Their reproof was not of me, but rather my actions. As a result of my own skewed view, fear of disapproval surfaced time after time in my formative years. My inaccurate view had nothing to do with my parents, instead more my own perception grounded in fear. 

Looking back on various experiences in my life I see overwhelming fear. When my nine-year-old sister was facing leukemia and almost died, my fear was intense. Then a few years later when she was diagnosed with diabetes and our lives as a family were altered forever, my fear of change took root. As my husband and I were released from various jobs I feared being homeless and penniless. After our firstborn was diagnosed with diabetes at age ten, my fear of losing someone I love raged once again. Unexpectedly, I lost my father to a heart attack and the fear of living without him was fierce. At the moment false rumors swirled around our ministry the familiar fear of disapproval anchored a spot in my soul. My fear of the future and the unknown were set ablaze as I watched my brave mom lose her four-year battle with breast cancer.

Fear is not life-giving nor life-affirming, yet we allow it to grow and be fruitful in the garden of our souls. We often accept seeds of fear as a gift from the enemy.  In each of these instances, I personally planted seeds of falsehood in my soul garden nurturing them as they blossomed and grew. 

Using the example of a garden, the Father is the master gardener who provides the space and soil for beautiful things to grow within our souls. He gives us good seeds to plant and everything we need to cultivate a beautiful crop for His glory. However, there are times when we are tempted by the possibility of something new that could yield a different type of crop. So, we accept the seeds of deception planting them right next to the Master’s seeds. Here the kernels blossom, go to seed, and eventually spread. Suddenly, our soul garden turns into a community space where anyone can enter and plant what they want; discouragement, worthlessness, despair, shame, hopelessness, anxiety, anger, worry, bitterness, grief, doubt, blame, and discontent. All of these are a by-product of fear.  Before we know it, the Master’s plants are no longer visible.  The sprouts of His original seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, confidence, determination, and wholeness, become overshadowed by all the rest. 

If fear has controlled your life, it’s time to allow the Master gardener complete ownership.  Relinquish control of what has always belonged to Him by giving Jesus exclusive access to shut the garden gate. His desire is to weed, prune, and dig out the deep roots of any fear-based plants and dispose of them.  Gently and patiently, He will water the original plants with His Word and prop up the ones that are weak or wilted with the strength of the Holy Spirit. Our soul gardens are not for our own enjoyment, to the contrary the fruit of these beautiful seeds are meant to be shared to build His Kingdom. If we will relent control, each of His plantings become tools that will blossom, eventually go to seed, and spread the word to others that He is good and for our good. 

In Deuteronomy 1:6 the Lord gave a message to Moses for the Israelites at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain” (NIV). Can you hear His voice telling you the same thing? Fill in your own struggle, but it is time to come down off that mountain of fear. You have been there long enough!

Boldly choose to look to the Master gardener who has all the tools you need for a flourishing soul garden. He offers a box full of life-giving and magnificent seeds waiting to be distributed and take root.  Reject the offerings of fear from the enemy which result in death. We are either fully alive soaking up the sun of His provision or living dead amongst the shriveled remnants of the enemy’s efforts. 

Plant well.

2 thoughts on “Soul Garden

  1. Wow Kelli , thank you for this . It sounds like my life and I love the thought of watering my own garden with truth . So good .


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