It is the dead of winter here in the Upper Midwest. Dead isn’t really accurate, is it? Perhaps a more accurate description would include dormant, waiting, brimming with potential. My garden beds rest under several inches of snow and ice, the winter winds blowing bitterly over them. All my little hopes rest in seeds and roots buried deep beneath the winter sky.
I inherited a barren garden. Save for a few hardy hostas and impossible-to-kill wild raspberries, the vegetation on our property was lacking. The soil was old, weary, and completely lacking in nutrients. I could have easily planted seeds and watered them daily, but that was no guarantee that anything would grow, much less flourish. So I slowly tend to them, each year adding goodness to the earth, in hopes of creating a rich environment for growth. But ultimately all I do is prepare the soil and water when the skies don’t.
So it is in the spiritual life. I do my best to care for the state of my soul and those in my charge.
I gently pull out the weeds and work to transform my heart so that when those seeds are planted, they have the best chance to grow. I am also reminded during this season of shortened days and a low hanging sun, that sometimes growth is happening where I cannot even see it. Even if the winter winds are howling and the landscape seems desolate, if I have done my part to cultivate fertile ground, He will provide the grace for growth.
In what ways is the Lord asking you to tend to the garden of your soul? What needs to be removed? What can you add to it?
Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.