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God is Love

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On Kathy's Faith Walk, God is a master gardener


God is love. Do you remember seeing this phrase in the form of a bumper sticker? I do. I also remember deeply wounded friends telling me that if God’s love is anything like the love they got from family and friends over the years, well…thanks, but no thanks. 

In this wicked world we have no shortage of damaged people, usually in some level of power, telling the weaker among us, “Trust me. I know what is best for you. I love you,” and then abusing the weaker soul. This is common behavior in our culture of conceit, anger, violence, and the pursuit of power. And when a person is exposed to this torment early in life, when they are most vulnerable, it can take a lifetime to repair the damage. That is why it is so important to let people know, no matter the milepost of their journey, God loves them. They may not believe it at first. They may scoff and shout angry replies. No matter. God still loves them. 

Many seeds are planted in the garden of our hearts. Seeds of compassion, anger, hatred, peace, joy, kindness, malice, greed, patience, gentleness, pride, avarice, jealousy, bitterness... they are all there. They are present in all of us all the time and they all grow into plants. The question will always be which ones will we allow to grow and which ones will we choose to pull out?

The truth of that matter is we simply cannot tend this garden of the heart on our own. If we have been badly abused it will be almost impossible to tell the difference between plants that should stay, and those that must leave. We need the Master Gardener to help us learn the difference.

I have heard it said in song and poem that there is good and bad in every garden and that it is okay. Just let it all grow naturally. That may be true of the wildly chaotic English flower garden, but when it comes to the garden of our hearts it is not okay. There is a difference and allowing bad fruit to grow and ripen is a poor garden practice. Neither is it wisdom to simply blast through the garden pulling out bad plants as good may also be lost. It takes time in order to preserve the good fruit while eradicating the bad. The Master Gardener knows how best to do this and he LOVES to tend the gardens of His children. 

God is love. In the New Testament of the Bible there are three little books toward the back. They are 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. Find them just ahead of Revelation. These little books were written by the Apostle John. He was with Jesus until the Crucifixion and even cared for Jesus’ mother after that day. John wrote about faith and love, but in these small books, mostly about love. They are so worth the read because they help us understand what love on Gods terms looks like. It is very different than what we would naturally expect. 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. He is the source and the expression of love. In fact, without Him, we cannot truly love. 

God is love. As we move into the month of February we will soon see images of hearts and little Cupids shooting arrows, candy and cards, thoughts of romance and bliss. These are reflections of something we long for deep in our hearts. We all want to be loved by someone who will never hurt us but will build us up to love as well. There is only one who can do this relentlessly and with eternal perseverance: Jesus the Christ. Consider allowing the Master Gardener into your heart and let Him till, plant, weed, and harvest. The fruit will be love.            

 You may write to Kathy Osborne at [email protected]


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Author info

Kathy Osborne Kathy Osborne is the editor of the Co Op Country Store's newspaper, the Co Op Round-Up. In her spare time she checks in on her three grown children, or listens to her husband play music.

Tagged as:

gardening, love, Kathys Faith Walk

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