As I look across my garden these days, God has truly been teaching me lessons about relationships through what I observe in nature. I never used to be captivated by the beauty of flowers and yet my eyes have been drawn to what has been happening in my garden. I am just loving the mix of colour. The variation in flowers fascinates me. It is amazing how differences in each one brings out the beauty in each other. Each colour, each type and style, each shape is needed to make the garden strong. It makes me think of a verse in Ecclesiastes.
“Two are better than one, for if either of them falls, one can help the other up.” (Eccl. 4:9-10) and “Though he may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes. 4:12).
We have all heard the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.”, but have we ever thought about why it is so? How it may have gotten there? The work put into it?
Even in the beauty of the individual colours and all the colours together, there is the lesson that we need each other in the faith to be strong and full of life and beauty. Firstly, we need God at the centre of our lives and then we need the support, encouragement, mentoring and presence of each other in order to do this journey of relationship. We need to let the beauty and power of Christ shine through us as individuals and as a whole, to testify to who God is and to what He has done for us through Christ. He invites all of us into the beauty of an intimate relationship with Himself and if we stay connected to Him we are able to share that beauty with each other.
We have all heard the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.”, but have we ever thought about why it is so? How it may have gotten there? The work put into it? There is also the saying “The grass is green where you water it!” It takes consistent intentional effort to make things get to and stay in a place you want it to be. I look across at my neighbours every day and see the hard work they put into their garden. My lawn looks nothing like theirs. They are out there every day showing up with the right clothes and supplies, digging and planting. They are very committed to their landscaping! They inspire me. I actually want to hire them! They have a gift I do not. But that is exactly how God wants it to be. He has gifted us all differently but wants us to share our gifts so that we do not do life alone.
We moved to a new home a year and a half ago. Outside, I couldn’t see the beauty of the garden and this year I am loving seeing what is popping up. Why? We weeded. We cleared. We trimmed and cut down. We watered. We waited. We needed to give it time. It is a work in progress. We learned some tips from the neighbours and most importantly we got help! We are still getting help! It is the same with any relationship.
It needs all the above and more, to grow and stay healthy. It doesn’t happen on its own. It doesn’t happen overnight. And just because you have to work at it doesn’t mean it isn’t good! We are going to fall but we are meant to hold each other up. Things are going to come our way that are too hard for us but together we are strong.
To stay close and connected in our relationships we need the Lord’s help. He is the third strand that helps us understand that our differences don’t have to divide us but can grow together to create something beautiful. Connection with Him allows us to appreciate who God made us and to enjoy being planted in the same space for a different purpose. We all have something to offer to the garden of our relationships. Pull out the weeds so that your individual and together growth is not stunted. Water evenly, even if differently. Give what is needed to grow. Let God establish your roots, how close and in what way he wants you to grow with each other, trusting the beauty He is creating.