Recovery is much like tending our own garden. A garden needs water, fertilizer, sunshine, good soil and a lot of attention by the gardener. We, as Christians and recovering people need:
- the water of prayer, meditation, and communing with God
- the fertilizer of fellowship
- the “Sonshine” of resting in Him (letting go and letting God)
- the rich soil of God’s Word in which to firmly anchor our roots. Not only must we read the Word but we must *understand* it and *actively apply* it to our own lives. Roots must be anchored in the soil, they must take up the nourishment and then send it to the entire system of the plant so it may flourish.
- a lot of attention by us, as our own gardeners, to remove all weeds that appear.
Working the 12 steps, being accountable to ourselves, God and others, confessing it when we blow it and repenting (coming back to God wanting to change ourselves for the better) is all part of the gardening process. It is only while we are actively watering, fertilizing and weeding that we can expect an abundant harvest–to reap the rewards of our faith and recovery.
Gardens also go through seasons and the changes related to them. We grow more quickly or more slowly depending upon how we are planted, if we are getting enough Son-light, etc. Everything grows in its own season and both the beautiful flowers as well as the pesky weeds will continue to come back year after year. This means we must continually do the maintenance routine.
The weeds in our lives look so pretty at times. How often I have been fooled by those “pretty” flowers in my garden. With 20-20 hindsight
I see my foolishness. But at the time temptation got the best of me. Even the devil himself can appear as an angel of light. When we tend to our garden, we have to keep our gardening manual (our Bible) out for cross referencing and identification! Those weeds (once identified) are a lot easier to pluck out when they are small. Once they grow, they develop deep roots, and. they are next to impossible to remove. We can tear away the heads of the weeds but the roots remain only to develop a new head.
Each time we ignore those little thoughts that enter our mind, we are giving them the opportunity to take root in our souls. Satan says, “Its OK, these are just thoughts!” but Jesus says, “If you even lust after someone in your heart you have already sinned.”
I used to have a huge vegetable garden. In the spring we would till the soil, clearing it of all weeds, carefully plant the seeds, water them, do the weeding and all went well until about July when the weeds would come in with a vengeance. The speed with which they grew and literally took over the garden was incredible. It took so much hard labor and sweat to try and keep up with it. But at the end of the day when we would go out and pick things for dinner it was all worth it.
That is the way it is with recovery. Some days I think, “Oh Lord, I just can not keep up with my weeds!” But then there is the harvest each day, when I have gotten through another 24 hours.
Then it is all worth it.