Does perfection make a garden beautiful? Are neat and perfect rows of uniform flowers what a gardener desires? Is restrained growth and orderly plants with identical blossoms a gardener’s delight? Of course, not! The beauty of a garden is its natural growth, the distinctness of each plant’s colors and shape. The magic of a garden is the way the plants respond to their environment and grow gracefully and weave their own beautiful impact on the earth.
Flowers don’t try to be perfect because it’s unnatural, but we often do. If you ever find yourself striving for perfection or working to please God, take a cue from the garden and learn to grow in grace. Only God is perfect yet we often think He expects us to be.
The truth is He loves us just the way we are.
We are not in bondage to performing for God because Jesus took away all the requirements of the law when He sacrificed His life for us. The Bible assures us that the law no longer has any hold on us because Jesus nailed it to the cross.
The beauty of God’s grace allows us to blossom without the fear of being perfect or pleasing others. Our goal in this life is not to meet the expectations of man but to aim for God’s best. In fact, the Bible says that fear of man brings us snare, or trap, into our lives. Imagine the graceful morning glory vine being ensnared or trapped. It would never reach for the growth it was intended for and its beauty would be stunted. Supports, pruning, and structure help us to grow but cages and traps of performance and perfection destroy our inner beauty and create tangles of vines that disfigure our growth.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Calling on the Master Gardener: Lord, I thank You that I do not have to be perfect to earn your love. Forgive me for trying to attain perfection since only You are perfect. I will, however, aim for a relationship with You that continues to grow. Amen.
Preparing the Soil:
Do you expect perfection from yourself? From others?
Why do you think you need to be perfect or perform to please God or others?
Sowing the Word: Instead of aiming for perfection, begin to reflect on your relationship with God and others. Write down the things you appreciate about yourself and those you love. Focus on accomplishments, set reasonable goals, and celebrate life daily instead of waiting for perfection.
Establishing Roots: Galatians (yes – all of it!)
Garden Wisdom: Plant in groupings but not straight rows and vary heights and colors. Combine flowering plants with vegetables, ground cover with vines, and a variety of textures in your garden to achieve a more natural look.
You are beautiful as you are! ~ Mary