My friend Mr. Faith has got a garden. His Master gave it to him, that He might reap the harvest of the garden one day. This Head Gardener expects Mr. Faith to take good care of His garden with faithfulness and patience, because it belongs to Him after all. Today his garden is in the full bloom. The fragrance and brilliance of the flowers is so fantastic. I can tell you, though, that it has caused him a lot of work and sweat to bring it to the present splendor. His plot was leaved fallow. In opposite to the other gardens, Mr. Faith's garden is not watered artificially. He has watched some new trends in gardening business with amezement. Watering with the new wine, for example. Well, during the dry seasons, people try to do anything. Mr. Faith has more understanding and expertise. He has understood this: "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth, it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Is.55:10,11)

He had lot of work removing all the weeds, stones, stumps and other obstacles. The weed had to be uprooted: "Every plant which My heavenly has not planted will be uprooted." (Matt.15:13) This work is continuous: "looking carefully lest anyone shall fall short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled." (Hebr.12:15) So, there is lot of work till his Master comes and takes His own away. Then he planted and soon the plants were rooted:"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and build up ion Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding with thanksgiving."(Col.2:6,7) "Let the work of God dwell in you richly."(Eph.4:5)

Soon all the plants grew into the full splendor, trees, bushes and flowers. The growth can be this quick,because this is Faith's garden. She has got some help for the work: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase."(1 Cor.3:6,7) As you can see, God himself is ready and even eager to help in this growing process: "until Christ is formed in you." (Gal.4:19)

In the center of the garden there is a beautiful fruit tree named Fragrance of Christ ( christi bonus odor). It's very beautiful tree, and her fragrance extends far around: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy. peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness, self-control." (Gal.5:22,23) There are many kinds of berries, but perhaps the most delicious sort is the holiness:"But now having been set free from sin, and having becomes slaves of God, you have your fruit to the holiness, and the end, everlasting life." (Rom.6:22) Oh boy, what the beauty of the flowers and the fragrance there is in the garden: "Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life." (2. Cor. 2:14-16)

Mr. Faith has done good work in his gardening, in my opinion, though he had no previous experience at all. I believe that his Lord will be pleased with him. Surely Mr. Faith can enjoy the fruit himself,too, but: "Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God." (Rom.7:4)

If you feel your own garden is dry and so badly needs the rain of blessings, remember these comforting words:"Elias was a man with a nature like ours,and he prayed earnestly, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit."(James 5:17,18) Pray and surely the watering taps will opened in heaven. When the Lord will come one day, may He say those words to Mr. Faith and to you as well:" Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler of many things. Enter into the joy of you Lord." (Matt.25:21),

With fertile greetings
J. P.