Growing Amazing Gardens
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Our grandson couldn't wait to tell me. His Grandma had bought a little kit for him called the "Magic Garden." Together, they put together these little plastic pieces that formed the frame for an outdoor scene that had a mountain as its backdrop. Then Grandma helped our grandson pour the liquid from the kit over the crystals that are hiding in designated areas of that frame. The next day our grandson came to our house to see what had happened. When he stopped by my office to tell me, his eyes got big and his hands were in motion to try to explain to me what he had seen, "It grow!" And he had this kind of sense of wonderment. He was right. The trees had sprouted full pink foliage overnight, colorful flowers and bushes had bloomed, and as our grandson said, "Mountain grow snow." Well, sure enough, the mountain had filled in with a cover of snow. Last night's plain plastic frame had suddenly exploded into this fully blooming, Technicolor show!
That "Magic Garden" kit appears pretty plain and unimpressive at first look. But the secret is that there's all kinds of potential beauty there. Of course, you'll never see that beauty if you don't water it to make it grow! By the way, people are like that, too, including some folks in your personal world right now. They may not look or feel like they're much, but they've got all kinds of potential for beauty if someone will water what needs to grow.
God gives us a hint of this life-changing chemistry in our word for today from the Word of God in Ephesians 4:15-16. He says, "Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."
The "water" in this chemistry for growth is "speaking the truth in love" and things that "build up" those that we're in contact with. If we nurture the good things in people, if we love them by telling them the truth about Jesus and about who they are in Him, we can actually help people start to become more like Jesus, to start producing His spiritual characteristics.
The problem is that we often can't see past the basic "kit" in front of us. We look at our partner, our son or daughter, our mother or father, our fellow believer or co-worker, and all we can see is their "warts," their weaknesses, and the things they need to improve. We're experts at seeing the flaws and the areas for improvement in other people. Consequently, most of us have already had a lifetime's worth of criticism, putdowns, and harshness.
But the eyes of Jesus don't just see what a person is; they see what a person could be, if someone would just water their potential with some encouragement, and praise, and believing in them. Jesus told Simon, "You are Simon, but you will be 'the rock.'" He saw what Simon could be, and in fact, what He became in Jesus' amazing garden.
So, what you water will grow. People will become what you call them. And the people in your family, in your church, at the place where you work have so much beauty planted in them by our Creator. But somebody needs to believe in what they could be. So build them up. Don't ever tear them down. Build their confidence, don't take it away. Load them up with praise. They don't need the growth-stunting effects of your negatives. You will be amazed at what can happen in the garden of lives around you if you will water them to bring out their latent beauty. In the words of my grandson, "They grow!"
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.