Sneaky Bugger by Robin Densmore Fuson
We all have soul needs. What does your soul need?
The rich dark soil cascades through my gloved fingers. Worms appreciate making their home in my yard, which is fine if only they didn’t startle me. I’m not a fan of the squirmy or crawly critters that love flowerbeds. I appreciate what the worms do and there are nice bugs and a few “good” spiders but they still give me the creeps.
Colorado had bugs, worms, spiders, and an occasional snake but in Tennessee and now Florida, everything is bigger and more abundant. Mosquitos love me. Crawly things are sneaky buggers that freak me out a bit. I keep my dog by my side to frighten away the large slithery scaly species that love this muggy climate.
Many thoughts run through my head as I garden. The flowers are pretty but they need tending, to grow full and produce and not be plagued by bugs or weeds. Also, they need the correct amount of sun and water.
I blame Adam for the weeds. And He said to Adam, "Because you listened to your wife's voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'Do not eat from it': The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.” (Genesis 3:17-18NLT)
Wow. That curse has gone on for hundreds of millennia. God meant business.
Gardening is a joy. Gardening gets me outside soaking up vitamins from the sun. It gives me time to think about any subject without interruptions. The demands of pulling and tugging can bring on a sweat but the fruit of my labor is worth it. The weeds or grass I pull, from their tenacious hold on the ground, don’t protest loud enough for me to hear. Veggies, fruit, flowers, shrubs, and trees all glory in my appreciation of their beauty.
Back to my thoughts. The ground will yield more when the soil is cultivated. The ground needs to be turned, and the right kind of fertilizer should be added before you plant and again later as they grow. One of the keys to a flourishing garden is to know when to plant the correct kind of vegetation, in the right place.
My soul is like a garden. I need to prepare or till my mind and heart in order to grow the good things like the fruit of the Spirit. Fertilizer feeds. Fertilizer is what I take in to speak to my soul, it can help me or hurt me. Do the words spoken to me have the right Ph—not too acidic to hurt? Are they full of acid and will wither my soul? Or do I need the right acid that strengthens me, tells me things straight, and critiques me and my actions? Balance is important. Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. (Psalm 1:1 NLT)
Then there are the weeds. Weeds too are sneaky buggers. I need to tear out the bad things. They could be so-called friends, things I read, or watch, places and activities. I need to inspect them to see if they are good things or if they need to be ripped out of my life. Are they new shoots of good plants or tares intent to strangle?
The Christian life is like a garden. Beautiful things grow right next to thorns and thistles. The Holy Spirit is the specialist to help you know which plant needs to stay and which needs to go. Which needs pruning to grow full and lush. The Holy Spirit pricks and prods us to know what we should keep in our lives and what should go. Unfortunately, to hear from the Lord, we must first be willing to get pruned, ripped out, fertilized, and watered.
I need God’s Word to water and quench my soul’s garden. As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God. (Psalm 42:1 NLT) God’s Word also acts like sunshine—shining a light on things I need to learn so I can grow straight and strong. Prayer is the quiet time when I listen to the Lord’s voice and appreciate the beauty He is making in my garden soil.
Gardening my life takes work and patience. Becoming the strong woman God wants me to be is my goal and worth the difficult soul-searching because the benefits are wonderful and beautiful.
Daily, we need to take stock of our souls. We need the water of the Word of God. Do we need to pull out some negative thoughts? We need to ask the Lord to show us what needs attention in our thoughts and attitudes.