Sunday, October 12, 2014


 Master Gardener generously gave two people a miniature but precious and rare Love Plant to tend from His own Special Garden.
"It is a gift of My love for you and meant to teach you deep lessons of the meaning of My words, 'As I have loved you, so love one another.' Plant it in fertile soil and take good care of it. Cultivate it to become a fruit-bearing plant. I will come again and check on it."

He gave them further instructions: "Provide it with boundaries to train it upward. It is a tender plant. Watch out for 'the little foxes' that may attack the plant. Take care that its growth is not spurious, grown too quickly with roots too shallow, lest the noonday heat wilt it. Be patient and let it develop naturally. Slow but steady growth is best. I have implanted deep within its seed the intrinsic nature of spontaneous growth. Don’t be afraid to prune it. Sunshine and rain, shade and storm, all are beneficial for hardy growth. In time there will be blossoms, then fruit. I remind you again, do not rush the tender plant!"

Master Gardener was not sure that the two were even listening. They seemed preoccupied with The Plant and eager to get on with its cultivation. To insure that His instructions would be followed, if not heard, He gave them A Garden Book. "Consult this daily because I Myself have written it so that you can compare the Love Plant against My perfect intention for it."

The two joyfully made a good start. As days went by they found great delight in The Master Gardener’s gift. It was beyond all their expectations. They discovered that it was a rare Plant indeed and inclined to grow rapidly. But they neglected pulling the weeds springing up around it, choking its freedom to develop straight upward.

Nor did they take proper care to set its limits, not wishing to restrain its natural inclinations. They simply couldn’t bear to prune it. What a pity to hurt The Plant's own expression!

Growing impatient for fruit, they attempted to force open the lovely, early buds before their proper season. Less and less frequently did they compare its growth with the pictures in The Garden Book. Since it was now their Plant, they felt they knew best how to raise it.

One day Master Gardener paid a surprise visit. "Take me to your Love Plant and bring The Garden Book with you." They had to search awhile before they found The Book and blew off the dust.
They led Him to a grotesque, ungainly plant with wild shoots nearly choking the main stem. Premature shriveled fruit hung sparsely here and there among the withered leaves. The eyes of Master Gardener reflected disappointment. Suddenly, as if with newly opened eyes, they realized that their Love Plant was nothing like the full color picture in The Garden Book.

Gently, Master Gardener pointed out place after place in The Book where they had neglected to follow His instructions. He did not scold them, as they had feared. He did not punish them, although they deserved it. He did not expose them to the ridicule of the other plant growers. And, mercy of mercies, He did not take away their Plant and banish them from His Garden.

"It is late, but not too late to revive The Plant and cultivate it aright," He said.

In His love for the two, He committed it to them again with firm words: "Children, be careful with this Love Plant! Don't forget that it was I who gave it to you to illustrate the meaning of Divine Love—and human love too. I have a special plan for your Plant. When the time comes for it to bear fruit, it will far surpass your dreams and desires.

"But you must prune it! Wild shoots will sap its strength. You will not destroy The Plant if you cut them off and direct the main growth upward. Only thus can it bear more fruit and then much fruit. Don't be tempted to pick its fruit prematurely. Be patient. I will tell you when it is ripe.

"Hour by hour, day by day, be diligent to compare it with My Book. Although you have made many mistakes, I will multiply both your delight and My glory if you conform fully to My plan for your Love Plant."

Overwhelmed by His patience, lovingkindness, and confidence toward them, this time they set about to diligently obey the wishes of the Master Gardener. And lo, it was even as He said. Day by day their delight was greater and His glory magnified. In the fullness of time, Master Gardener came again, and they excitedly showed Him the luscious, ripe first fruits on the carefully cultivated mature Plant.

“Now it is time to enjoy the fruit!” He said.

They shared the abundant fruit with Master Gardener, and the three of them ate together with great joy and satisfaction.

"Yet I planted you a choice vine, a completely faithful seed. How then have you turned yourself before Me into the degenerate shoots of a wild vine?" Jeremiah. 2:21
"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, 
that it may bear more fruit." John 15:2
“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom.”
 Song of Solomon 2:15
"...May my beloved come into his garden and eat its choice fruits...." Song of Solomon 4:16b
"...If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him, and will dine with him, 
and he with Me."  Revelation 3:20 

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