Lessons from the Garden

Author: Michael Babienco

October 2023

Another rotten tomato. Sigh. I plucked the tomato off the plant, walked around the building, and threw the tomato into the woods. One loss for the kitchen table, one gain for the animals.

One of our fun diversions during AFM’s summer training was a garden we grew in front of our condo. We had a small but delightful variety of plants, including fruits, vegetables and flowers. Some plants grew large and bore much produce, and others died before giving of their bounty.

We can learn many spiritual lessons from gardening. Here are some we learned this summer:

You must sow seeds to obtain fruit (or vegetables), even when you don’t know what, if anything, will sprout. No sowing, no fruit.
The quantity of water for the plant is important. With too little water, the plant withers. Too much water and the plant drowns. Just enough water and the plant grows.
At times, the fruit becomes rotten before ever ripening. Sometimes, this is preventable by our own actions, and sometimes it is not.
The joy of eating a fresh, crunchy cucumber off the stalk is only a sliver of the joy experienced in heaven when someone chooses to follow Christ.

Ellen White applied these lessons to gospel work in Christ’s Object Lessons, page 88:

“In tilling the soil, in disciplining and subduing the land, lessons may constantly be learned. No one would think of settling upon a raw piece of land, expecting it at once to yield a harvest. Earnestness, diligence, and persevering labor are to be put forth in treating the soil preparatory to sowing the seed. So it is in the spiritual work in the human heart. . . . Unless hard work is bestowed on the soil, it will not yield a harvest. So with the soil of the heart: the Spirit of God must work upon it to refine and discipline it before it can bring forth fruit to the glory of God.”

Thank you for helping to water the plants of our launching and monthly goals, which are now complete and ready for harvest. Caitlyn and I hope to launch to Japan soon and begin planting gospel seeds in the hearts of the Japanese. Please pray that, through God, Japan will yield a bountiful harvest of fruit for eternity.