Reilly Gray

Truths of the Garden

He is our master gardener.

It is an amazing privilege to get to write to you all today! I love the women of our Church and I love our Church. I do not take lightly the opportunity to encourage you all today!

I first want to take a moment to honour the amazing Ps. Leigh and this beautiful blog that always has timely and encouraging posts! We honour you!

My husband Michael and I recently moved into a new house! We were especially excited because our new house is very low maintenance! We made the unfortunate discovery in our previous home that we are indeed not people who are naturally gifted at maintaining gardens.

We ‘accidentally’ didn’t have a weeding session until about 4 months into living in our previous home. In that time, we got so used to the look of our house we began to not notice the weeds that were growing.

And suddenly, the very large weeds that were growing in our garden began to grow deep roots. It became very tall and began taking over and eventually became taller than the actual plants in our garden! …Oops!

We resolved one day that it was time to weed and feed, and it ended up taking us half the day and 2 very full garbage bins (I mean full to the point where Michael had to lift me on top of the bin, and I had to jump on the pulled weeds to make room for more!) (see the attached photo!)

From that day forward, we learned the lesson that gardens need regular maintenance, regular feeding, and regular weeding.

I think our hearts are much this way too.

“…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

– 1 Samuel 16:7b

The Lord looks at and cares for our hearts, and He cares about what takes root in them.

He intends for our hearts to produce beauty and fruit.

Over time things can take root in our hearts that He never planted, and we need to do some weeding.

The most recent weeding session of my heart was at a conference called “Soul Care”. It was healing and beautiful.

The healing power of Jesus is miraculous. Once you encounter it you can never be the same.

In a moment, my heart and mind were refreshed, plucked and freed of anything that was thorny, painful, or competing for room in my heart. Joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, and love had room to grow again.

It was like coming home to a tidy garden.

If I were to summarize a few of the “truths of the garden” I learned that I would pass onto my fellow novice gardeners, it would be these…

1. Be still and know HE is God.

Dr. Rob Reimer (the leader of Soul Care) describes our mind and soul as a lake. When things get stirred up, when storms come, when people throw rocks, or things get let in – the lake becomes murky.

The only thing that calms a lake is stillness.

We get clarity in lakes, and our hearts when we know He is God- and that allows us to still.

If you feel your lake is murky, take time to be still and know He is God. He is in control. He is your source. He hears your voice- watch the clarity and stillness ensue.

With clarity and stillness, we gain a better perspective of our heart condition, and this better allows us to see what has taken root.

It also postures us into a place of submission, allowing the master gardener to do the work He needs to do in us.

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…”’ Psalm 46:10

2. Forgiveness = flourishing.

Unforgiveness is one of the most lethal weeds that can grow in our garden. As Dr. Reimer put it- “Unforgiveness is like an umbilical cord that keeps us attached to those that hurt us.”

It keeps us tied and we need it cut.

I would liken it to a weed that has spikes around it – it is one of the most painful to pull out (you may need to double glove!) and spreads quickly. If it gets in your heart – you’ve got to make sure it gets out, and fast.

With any nasty weed, often you pull and you get the leafy bits on the top, but the root gets stuck in the ground.

Any gardener knows this means it will only grow back.

The only way to get rid of the weed is to take the root with you.

Often to fully get the root – we need the help of the master gardener. He possesses glorious tools to help us.

It may still hurt- but He knows the truths of the garden.

Forgiving hearts are beautiful in the sight of God.

3. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

If you were to know nothing about gardens (Much like Michael and I) You would first seek after the experienced gardener. It is how you begin to grow in garden knowledge.

Being with God, would unlock many of the truths of the garden. It would allow your garden to produce much fruit.

It is no different in our personal relationships with God.

He is our master gardener.

Ps. Leigh said in a message a few years back- the best place to go to learn about yourself is to go to the one who created you.

““The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

– Proverbs 9:10

Be still before Him. Forgive. Fear Him.

If you are sitting here today, heart heavy, weary eyed – I see you.

I know what it is to have the weeds in your heart overtaking the fruit bearing parts.

The beautiful hope of the Gospel is we know the great Gardener, Jesus. The mighty Physician, and the King of Kings. And He holds resurrection and healing power in His mighty hands.

There is power in the name of Jesus.

He knows how to prune for optimal fruit production. He knows how to plant for ultimate beauty. He knows how to prepare for every season. Allowing us to flourish and bring glory to His name.

I encourage you today in this moment to invite Him in. Be still before Him and let His fruit flourish in your life. No garden is too far gone for the master Gardner, no matter how tangled and dead it looks or how hopeless it may feel.

What He did on the cross still saves us.

The truth of the garden is this: There is power in the name of Jesus.

He sees your heart.

He always will.

Love Reilly.

Reilly Gray

Reilly Gray

Reilly is our Resident American! She is our amazing Church Life Leader. She is joyful, kind and so fun to be around! She loves Jesus and loves those who she encounters! We love her!