The main reason I'm thankful God gave me a desire to plant a garden is because of the several different spiritual truths He has shown me through the process of preparing, harvesting and maintaining it. God has also blessed us with a blackberry bush that grows wild in our backyard. We discovered it just three years ago. We have been living in this same location for 17 years, so the recent discovery was quite the surprise!
While picking blackberries earlier today, God showed me another awesome spiritual analogy that I would like to share. When you look at a blackberry bush you see beautiful green leaves surrounding the fruit. The leaves are quite attractive and appear harmless. However, once you reach in to grab hold of the fruit, you realize that on the back side of these leaves there are several thorns! If one gets attached to your hand and/or arm, you know it! These tiny little thorns hurt a great deal. Sometimes they break off and stick into your skin causing it to swell up and redden. So as I was precariously picking berries today I realized how the leaves can represent sin. Sin always look so attractive to us. It's only after we dive in do we realize there are always thorns on the back side that dig in and give us pain.
Now for the cucumber plant analogy. I'm trying my hand at pickling this year, so I need to daily check the cucumber plants for small cucumbers (about 4" in size in case you're wondering). After glancing through the vines and spotting a few cucumbers, I always go back for a second, more thorough look. You see, the cucumbers blend in with the vines (especially when they are small), so I don't always see everything that is there right away. As I was gently picking up the vines and lifting the leaves in order to find more cucumbers, I thought of how it is with the Bible. Many times I will look through familiar passages thinking there is nothing left to "see". However, when I take the time to look deeper and more thoroughly, I always find something new!
God is amazing, isn't He? His creation is not only for our benefit in that it provides physical nutrients; if we really think about things - that is, meditate on Him - we will be delighted to find that He also provides spiritual nutrition to us through His creation as well!