BY: DAVID L. WALKER
Three rose bushes, a five gallon bucket of sand and a five-gallon bucket of peat moss. I was given everything I needed at no cost, but it did take a little effort on my part to make it work. I have planted roses in the past only to have them die. When I first started years ago, I didn't know a lot about roses. I thought you could just plant them anywhere and God would make them grow. The first roses that I planted, I planted on the edge of my yard where the top soil was really thin. Before long, the heat of the sun had burned them up because there was not enough good soil to contain them. I tried again to have success at planting roses. This time I chose a spot a little further in the yard, but the soil was really rocky, those roses died also. There was not enough good ground for them to take root. I waited a season or two and then tried again. This time I went to the middle of the yard. The grass and weeds were growing well, so a rose bush should have been able to live. By the end of the summer, the grass and weeds had choked out my rose bush and it died like the rest.
This time I wanted it to be different. I wanted to do it right. I studied and asked a lot of questions. I found the spot that looked fertile and marked off an outline of the bed. I took my shovel and plowed up the ground, placing the clumps of grass and dirt into a wheel barrel. I then removed all the grass and weeds from the now fertile soil. I removed the earth worms and grub worms and placed them in a container. I also removed all the things that were hidden under the surface of the grass, like rocks, sticks and even the deep under lying roots of an old dead tree. I then dug three holes about a foot deeper than the rest of the hole and about two feet wide for the placing of the mixture of sand, peat and now fertile soil. Next, I mixed the three until there was unity and oneness and a consistent texture to the new soil. The purpose of this process was to make sure the soil would drain. It also gave the roots the ability to grow and expand. I then took the roses out of their containers and placed them in the new ground. Then I filled in around the roses with the mixture of sand, peat and soil. I created a ledge around the hole by removing the grass and placing plastic on the ledge.
This covering of plastic was to keep the grass and weeds out, which would affect the safety of the life of the roses. Then I placed large rocks on top of the plastic and filled in with dirt. The rocks gave a steadfastness to the covering and also protection from the storms.
As I sat down that night after I planted the roses, the Lord quickened my spirit to what had taken place. He reminded me of the free gift of His love and how He had become the way, the truth and the life inside of me. He also quickened me to read Luke 8: 11-15, "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that all the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. "
I thought about my life, how so many times I had tried to be right with God and had come short. There were so many times I would hear the word of God, but before it could take root in my heart, because of my sin nature, the devil would steal it. I kept growing and I kept seeking after my Lord and there were times I could hang onto the word a little longer. It was like the roses I had planted in the rocky soil. They looked good for a while, but when it really got hot, they withered and died. In my life, I would walk for a while, but when the temptations really got great, I couldn't resist and would give in again. I didn't give up. I continued. There was a time in my life where I would walk for months, but when times got hard my trust in my God would get shaky. It's like the weeds and grass that choked out my rose bushes in the past. I would open the door to doubt and unbelief. It would fill my good soil and choke the life out of me. As I continued, I gained wisdom, understanding and knowledge. I learned that you need to have a good foundation if you want to be rooted and grounded. I learned that I could not make it with my own abilities. It took something besides the dirt inside of me to make it work. I had to remove the grass (the flesh), the rocks and sticks (religion, tradition and doctrines of men) and the earth worms and grubs (spirits of darkness; i.e., anger, temper, frustration, tension, bad habits, stress, strife, gossip, backbiting, slander, unforgiveness, hate, etc.). I also learned you needed to remove the old past roots (generational curses). We don't need tares from the past in our rose garden.
The Lord also showed me that you have to add something to your soil. Your soil is not enough to produce on its own. It takes something beyond dust to make it work. It takes a resurrection from the dead. It takes bringing the soil out of the death state, into a state of life. You have to give your soil to Jesus, in return He works in grace and mercy. The Holy Spirit enters in and brings the unity and oneness and a balance to the texture of the now fertile soil. You also have to remove the old vessel which caused limitations and allowed little room for growth. In this new fertile bed there are no limitations. The length, height and width can find no bounds in its creator. The covering that hides the grass and weeds is the blood of the Lamb. By His covering, we are now a new creation, the past is no longer seen. It is a new beginning. The rock is our foundation, Christ, whom we have fallen on. He is our protection from the storm (See Matthew 21: 44).
The roses are now grafted-in. They are rooted and grounded in their new home, because of their fertile soil. They are now producing blossoms of life. If your soil is not producing life at this time, become a good gardener. Through the power of the Lord Jesus, remove the things that keep choking out the life. Fall on the rock, Christ and ask for His help. Get rid of that old dust and be filled with heavenly ground. The Holy Spirit awaits your asking, to fill your garden with new fertile soil. Without Him there is no resurrection from the dead.
As we continue, the fragrance of His life in us fills the air around us. Others can see and experience the beauty of His love in us. We are truly the fruit and radiance of His resurrection. We are the roses of His gardening love.
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