Painting by Yvonne Ayoub

Kim and I continue to enjoy our efforts in micro-gardening with three raised garden beds in our backyard.  We harvested a beautiful crop of Yukon Gold potatoes last month.  We are cutting okra every day now, and the pepper plants have done fairly well.  However, not everything has gone according to our hopes and plans.  The tomatoes have been hit and miss, with some plants bearing quite well, and others being completely barren.  There were blooms aplenty, but comparatively little to show for it.  While the green okra has been very productive, that hasn’t been the case with the red variety.  Same with the cucumbers; a sea of yellow blooms, but very few cukes.  How can you manage not to grow buckets full of cucumbers?  They usually grow like grass, right?  I am continuing to learn that vegetable gardening is not a no-brainer avocation.

Despite my lack of understanding as to why some of the plants have not produced, I have resorted to drastic measures nonetheless.  Those that just won’t bear fruit have been yanked up by the roots and cast aside.  They were just taking up space, pointlessly soaking up water and nutrients from the soil.  There is still enough growing season left to give some new plants a chance.

My foray into gardening has reminded me of a consistent theme that runs through the teaching of John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles of the Lord.  A true heart of faith in God is always evidenced by a life of holiness, both in word and deed.  Otherwise, we have quenched and denied the power of the Spirit who lives within us. 

“Therefore, bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). 

“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  So then, you will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:19-20). 

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33). 

“A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.  And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any.  Cut it down!  Why does it even use up the ground?’  And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down’” (Luke 13:6-9).

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). 

“The fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9).