One day while I was having a conversation with God (yes, God and I talk), He started showing me some things about my soul. He decided to compare my soul to a garden. God will do that. He will show us things in ways that we can relate to or in images that make things clear and give us understanding.
He revealed that there were many weeds growing there and that these weeds were causing confusion and chaos in my mind, will and emotions. My response to God was to tell Him how overwhelmed I felt since I could hardly tell the good plants from the bad. I continued on asking Him what to do. God replied with: "I am going to help you pull out the weeds, one by one, by the roots. We are going to examine the roots together. In the past, you have cut off the tops of the weeds, but not dealt with the reasons lying under them. So they spring up again and again. I want to help you deal with the root causes."
I began to a see how a habit or addiction always has an underlying cause or root. There is something driving it, such as a desire to feel fulfilled and happy. When we begin looking at the “why” behind what we are doing, this then gives God an opportunity to reveal to us inner things that then point us back to Him for the answer or help. We realize that He is the answer to anything that we could possibly want. This is where we discover acceptance and where we receive true fulfillment. It's found in Him and His love for us.
Weeds represent things like sin, cares, and distractions in our lives. When we deal with weeds, we are able to protect the plants that will benefit us. The good things that we are planting in our gardens will then continue to grow up and produce good fruit or good things in our lives. Whatever we sow into a garden is what will be produced. Whatever we put into or allow in our thinking, feeling and choosing, will determine the results we are experiencing in life.
As if that wasn't already enough to consider, God then proceeds to lift up a rock from my garden and I knew what He was getting at.
God knows us best and He wants the best for us. If we are willing to listen, He will get personal and show us things or tell us things to do that will help us even though it might be something that seems difficult. The rock represented bitterness and unforgiveness towards someone. After much wrestling within, I chose to forgive and let go of the past. As soon as I did this, I felt a weight lift off. I felt free. When we allow things like bitterness, resentment, or offence to stay in our lives, they prevent growth of other plants and keep seeds from being planted. These rocks in our garden make the soil of our heart hard. We are only holding ourselves back when we refuse to forgive and allow God the opportunity to make things right for us in areas where we have been wronged.
I won't deny that it's hard work, and at times feels like you're barely making it. However, I can also confirm that it's so worth it. There is a freedom that comes that seems almost impossible to put into words. It's like you're a new person, you're just new.
Since our freedom and growth depend on it, we should choose every day to protect the gardens of our soul. God says it this way in Proverbs 4:20 Amplified: "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." Our hearts are connected to our souls. What goes into our hearts goes in through what we see, hear, feel, think, and say. What is then stored up or sown into our hearts, is also going to come up in our thinking, saying and doing.
Our souls are meant to grow. They are meant to produce just like a plant is supposed to produce fruit or whatever it is. As long as we are growing, we are making progress in the right direction. We can choose to trust God, the great gardener, to help us look after our soul gardens so that we can live freely and abundantly.