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I watched my wife planting some bulbs yesterday. She had wisely waited until the soil had sufficiently cooled from its summer heat, so that the bulbs would not be distressed. I watched as she planted each variety at a different depth, according to the best botanical advice, and then as she took note of where the sun would touch them, and of the other plants in the garden that would be their spring-time neighbours. And I watched as she stood and imagined what the scene might look like in the months to come, when the secrets of the bulbs would be revealed, and I was impressed by her hope and patience.
I was reminded of the parallels in the quest to develop the garden of the heart. The earnest desire to see growing those plants of patience, self-control, gentleness, and humility, which says the Book, are so precious in the sight of God. And which are precious too in the eyes of the wise. And I remembered that the growing does not happen without the deliberate planting, and that the planting does not happen without the deliberate turning of the soil, where the ground is loosed and unsettled and turned upside down. Perhaps that’s why the Book in one of its Psalms says sometimes about sowing in tears.
But I remembered too that it also says, that those who do, shall reap with songs of joy. Sometimes hope disappoints. There are droughts and bugs and floods and fires, and not all that is planted in this world comes to harvest. But the bulbs of godliness will. They never fail to open. And they who sow them will never fail to enjoy their lovely flowers.
DM 3rd May 2016