Gardening with God

Learn subtle lessons from the garden that stem from themes found in the Bible. The Bible is filled with horticulture and the beauty of nature.

By Caryl W. Krueger

Categories: Creation, Spring/Easter

The story of creation found in Genesis 1 tells of the variety of growing things that God made. Read Genesis 1: 11-13 and see that it lists grass, herbs, seeds, and fruit trees. God then gives His children dominion over all growing things.

Youngsters might not realize the helpful lessons that come from growing things. Here are just a few:

  • Make a snack that comes from plants. Raisins, nuts, celery, and dried fruits were common in Biblical times.
  • At a garden shop, buy a bulb for each child to plant outside. Ask what is inside the bulb. What does it become? (A beautiful big flowering plant.) Just like the bulb, God has provided within us the ability to grow and blossom. Plant the bulbs and watch them grow!
  • If you don't have an outside garden, you can do something similar in the house with a sweet potato. Use tooth picks to suspend a sweet potato over a jar of water, with the bottom touching the water. (You will have to add water now and then). Note that this "plant" is not too pretty at this point. But, the vine will grow, showing how something small can be nurtured (with water and light) to become something big, graceful, and useful. Ask how God nurtures you to grow? (By giving you good ideas, keeping you safe, helping you learn in school, etc.)
  • Then, teach two lessons: Caring and Competition. Buy a packet of morning glory seeds and give family members their own pots to plant them in. Put them on a window sill and watch them germinate and grow. When they are a few inches tall, attach a string to the pot and up to the ceiling (a thumb tack or curtain rod is a good place to anchor the string). Now see how the vines will grow up the string. If the plants are cared for, they will flourish and bloom. This is similar to the way God cares for you - feeding you everything you need.

You can also have a competition to see whose plant is first to bloom or reach the top. Compliment youngsters who root for their own plant and all appreciate the work of others. Remind kids that there is no shortage of sun or water, just as there is no shortage of God's goodness. There is enough for all, so wholesome competition is acceptable, equally true in sports and games.

While these are subtle lessons from the garden, The Bible is filled with horticulture and the beauty of nature. Read these: "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon." (Psalm 92:12) "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (II Peter 3:18) This month - grow and flourish!