Gardening has become one of my favorite stress management tools. In 2015, as a busy family Physician, I was struggling with burnout. My husband and I bought a farm in East Texas. One of the first things we did was to put in a vegetable garden. This little slice of heaven has brought me such joy. It has also given me a window into how we grow as Christians. I hope you enjoy the Gardener’s Handbook | Relieving Stress for a Joy Filled life.
Today we will be discussing the following:
- Relieving Stress for a Joy Filled Life
- Dealing with Illness and Past Traumas
- Releasing Unhealthy Emotions
- Nourishing Your Heart with the Promises of God
- Learning How to Live – Sanctification
- Becoming Set Apart for God’s PURPOSES in Our Lives
- God Planting Seeds of Truth Deep Into Our Lives
- Learning what is the Fruit of the Spirit
Dealing with Illness and Past Traumas
Tilling the Soil
As I hand tilled the soil the first year I had to deal with the rocks, weeds and poor soil. Just like our hearts and souls affected by the world and separate from God they become” hardened”. After we accept Jesus Christ as our savior and ask for forgiveness, the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and helps us deal with illness and past traumas.
“I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.”John 16:33.
I hope you enjoy the Gardener’s Handbook | Relieving Stress for a Joy Filled Life.
Releasing Unhealthy Emotions
He helps us to release unhealthy emotions that act like weeds to block out joy in our lives. These emotions like shame, regret, jealousy and anger will take over our lives. Nothing can grow when our heart is overgrown with weeds.
whoever sows to please the flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction: whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.Galations 6:8
God’s love softens our hearts. So, the next step in gardening is to add nutrients to the freshly tilled soil. As we learn to stand on God’s promises, these promises act like nutrients and help us prepare our hearts for God’s love to grow and shape us into His image.
Nourishing Your Heart with the Promises of God
God loves us!
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.Romans 5:5
God extends us grace!
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.2 Corinthians 12:9
He strengthens us!
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.Isaiah 40:31
He guides us!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11
So just like the barren ground he works in our lives to rid us of painful memories, hurtful thoughts and harmful emotions. In its place he leaves us with love, joy and hope. Read more of the Gardener’s Handbook | Relieving Stress for a Joy Filled Life.
Learning How to Live – Sanctification
Planting the Seeds
Now that the garden of life has been weeded, tilled and fertilized our next step is planting. This process in our lives is called sanctification. God works overtime to conform each believer to the image of his son. Again the Holy Spirit works in us to teach us the right way to live and be at peace with others.
“Guide me in your truth and teach me,Psalm 25:5
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.”
We can look to Jesus as an example of how to live and open our hearts to connect with other in Christ. This allows the holy spirit to plant in us an understanding of the Lord through scripture, prayer, Christian community, church, meditation and other disciplines. Seeds don’t grow sitting in a bag or on a shelf unless they are planted in rich soil, get watered and kept warm by the sun. We’re much the same way. We need God’s love, guidance and nurturing in our lives to grow. Continue reading the Gardener’s Handbook | Relieving Stress for a Joy Filled life.
Becoming Set Apart for God’s PURPOSES in Our Lives
The Lord gives us spiritual gifts. These include gifts of the spirit to meet a need in the moment. These gifts are:
- words of wisdom
- words of knowledge
- gifts of healing
- tongues and interpretation of tongues.
He also gives us motivational gifts to use for the kingdom;
The Lord also provides ministry gifts:
“9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”Colossians 1:9-12
God Planting Seeds of Truth Deep into Our Lives
As we grow in our relationship with Lord we are encouraged by the Holy Spirit to become more like Christ. He plants seeds of truth deep in our hearts and teaches and guides us through life. Using our gifts and talents in service, humility and generosity bring Glory to God.
This is the harvest God wants for all of our lives.
And if we continue to follow Him by reading the word, praying, worshiping, and singing we will see the fruit of our labor. There is such joy when the garden blossoms into buds, followed by small vegetables that grow and change color. It is the same way in life as you raise Christian children, help others through acts of service, lead others to Jesus Christ, and join in community at church- this is the FRUIT of our lives.
What is the Fruit of the Spirit?
The Lord is the ultimate harvester, his fruit from the Spirit include:
- and self-control.
Our purpose is to serve one another strengthening the body of Christ and to live for God. He asks us to love Him and to love each other, to share the gospel and to go and make disciples. And in turn he showers us with blessings and fills our baskets with overflowing love and joy!! Enjoy the harvest.
If you would like to be filled with the Holy Spirit and experience true forgiveness and joy through Jesus Christ, we invite you to watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU Video on this page. Jesus can change your life this very day. He loves you so much.