I always hated gardening. But my wife and all her relatives love it. Mind you, I do all the heavy work for her: I dig the bean trench, mow the lawn, and pull up the weeds. But in my garden I usually grow . . . tired and weary . . . and bored!
Before I went to Poland for three weeks in October 2004, I was in my small front garden for an hour one very, very hot September afternoon while my dinner was cooking. At 28 degrees Celsius I had sweat pouring off my face as I stepped out of the house to start digging up hundreds of little grape hyacinth bulbs so that my wife could plant lavender shrubs instead. Also, my back was aching from an hour’s workout at the gym in the morning.
I was just about to shove my foot down on the gardening fork and start with a good loud moan when Jesus spoke to me. I knew who was speaking because he used one of his recorded sayings. He said (in my thoughts): “My Father is the gardener.”
‘I know,’ I muttered (inside my head), ‘it says so in the Bible.’
Again, he added, ‘My Father likes gardening.’
‘Well, of course he does. He made the Garden of Eden in the beginning, and heaven is a garden city. Sure, I get it.’
He kept on at me: ‘And he is your Father, too. You gave your life to him when you were six; you have his spiritual nature, his DNA. So you should also like gardening.’
I thought, ‘I can’t really argue with that, can I? And I love my wife. She’s been very busy looking after our daughter and her three-week-old baby, Ethan, and his big brother and sister. I would like to bless her too.’
An hour later she came home – and noticed the improvement straightaway as she walked down the path to our front door. She was so surprised and very happy. And so was my heavenly Father – happy and blessed. I did all that hot sweaty, back-breaking work for her – and for him.
Sometimes you can enjoy God in the ordinary jobs of life. Here’s something Jesus said:
‘The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything that he owned to get enough money to buy the field – and get the treasure, too’ (Matthew 13:44).