I have a t-shirt that says, “I Just Wet My Plants”. Who would have ever thought that your pastor would tell you he wet his plants? Go figure! However, it’s true.
Earlier this year, my wife and I, in prayer, told God that we wanted to attract cardinals and start a butterfly garden. We asked for his help because we both have brown thumbs, but mostly because we chat with him about everything going on in our lives. We knew we were going out on a limb here. God must have chuckled and whispered, “fasten your seatbelts!” because that’s how it felt.
We started finding the right plants and researched their care. We saw movement, color and life appear. Brown started turning green, and it was glorious! We tried to do everything right, but somehow, we must have missed the chapter in our gardener’s manual on “water”. Probably because we already knew about water. At least we thought we did. “Give it to the plants when needed. Just pull out the hose and give them a good dousing. Simple as that. Right?” So—we wet our plants!
We noticed that when we watered them with city water, they responded, but it was a kind of halfhearted. We even got a nifty sprayer for the hose so we could shower or mist them as needed. Yet, they still seemed to be only inching along. The leaves often drooped, yet they trudged on in the garden and grew. They just seemed to hang in there, but we knew something was missing. We wondered if our brown thumbs were again appearing! Maybe this gardening thing wasn’t such a great idea after all. Oh well.
Then God must have stepped in and said, “Here, hold my beer!” He didn’t really say beer, but the intent was there. God unleashed small torrents of rain intermittently for days as we worked in the garden around the storms. Then we noticed that the plants were coming alive and their buds bloomed stronger. We could see each plant reach for the sky as it grew healthier. We saw more life in the garden than we could have ever imagined. Our brown thumbs were turning green again!
In my mind, I’m like, “What the heck!” (I actually said, “hell”, but I have already taken to many liberties in this story). Anyway, we had been watering the plants faithfully and could not figure out what we were lacking. We got the hose out, watered in the morning, and my wife watered last thing before nightfall. Yet we only received a halfhearted response. Why such a difference?
Oh! Oh! Oh!—I think I figured it out! Wow! This is amazingly simple, yet profound: The water we were using contained additives designed to make it clean and better when we humans drink it. The plants drank the water we wet them with, but it wasn’t what was best for them. It just helped them get by. God’s water was better than OUR water for the plants.
Now here is a point I want to make: The same thing often happens with our decisions. We try to think of things to solve our problems. But we leave God and his wisdom out of the equation. And do you know what I found? When I use my “water” (my decisions), sometimes, the results will perk up a little and it may seem to solve the problem. But I am often left scratching my head and wondering why my thumb keeps turning brown or why the decision didn’t really have the results I expected.
The water from the hose seemed to be the right thing. But the additives in the water don’t promote the deeper harmony I desire and God desires. The additives often stunt the result. City water works, but barely. My decisions sometimes seem to result the same way. I solve the problem, but often, just barely. There must be a better way!
God’s water, the rain that falls from the heavens, truly springs forth life—and in abundance. Just like God’s wisdom when applied to our decisions, the results are life giving and in better harmony than simply our own decisions. Often, we think that our water solves our problems. Yet there is an unparalleled purity in God’s water and wisdom that promotes a stronger harmony in the garden. I know to consult my Gardeners manual (the Bible), yet if I am not careful, I go it on my own. I try to solve my problems with my water containing “additives”. But God’s water, His Word, is pure—and often simple.
Well, God got my attention. Here is how I wet my plants:
- I use God’s pure and holy water, rather than mine (containing additives).
- I wet my plants every day. But I now use water that I stored in my heart, well, really, I stored this water in the garden rain barrel, but I store his love and wisdom in my heart.
- That brings me to this: Use rain barrels to store God’s water, his pure wisdom, in your life and in your heart. That means talk to God through his Word in Scripture, listen and seek to understand it. Use this water, God’s water, to water the garden of your life.
And you know what? Even when it doesn’t rain, you can still wet your plants! I wet my plants every day — but hey—we all got issues, right?
My wife and I now have thumbs that really are turning green. We earnestly seek God’s water. Yes, we are learning the secrets of a flourishing garden: We read the Gardeners Manual, talk to the Gardener, and we bask in the Son. All right here in God’s Garden.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
~~ Psalm 63:1-4