Here’s my story: The morning air still had a slight chill. It was going to be a hot one so I wanted to water down the garden before the heat of the day. I would love mornings if only they came a little later! They are undoubtedly the most pristine part of a day and one of the best times to meet with God.
While enjoying the cool air and the singing of the birds, I took some time to survey my garden. The blueberry bushes had a good amount of fresh growth and the berries themselves were nicely formed. Raspberries would soon ripen. The tomato plants looked good, but the peppers needed a little help. Overall I was pleased with the picture as I rolled up the hose to head back into the house. Without warning (as He often does) I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon my heart that He likes to grow things.
Immediately I began to think of all of the plant life across the globe. Plants and trees of all shapes and sizes. Varieties and flavors of fruit that stretch almost any imagination. Then there’s the animal life with its amazing diversity. It doesn’t take much effort to confirm that God does indeed like to grow things.
But there is nothing that God likes to grow more than people! How He loves to invest in broken lives with the goal of bringing wholeness! How He hovers! How He waters! How He nurtures! God absolutely loves to grow people!
When I think about what God likes, I can’t help but consider my response to His desire. First and foremost, am I willing to grow? Am I open to allowing the Master Gardener access to every nook and cranny of my life? Will I allow Him to root out any disease that’s infecting my heart? Will I let down my walls of self-protection? Will I allow Him to prune today’s growth for the sake of increased fruitfulness in the future? The answer to all of these questions should be “yes” if I truly care about what God likes.
A second probing question involves whether or not I am willing to be used to help others grow. Am I truly concerned about their wholeness or do I just want them to like me? Do I show compassion in dealing with the underbelly issues of life? Am I willing to experience hard work and pain for the sake of their growth? I realize that we can’t do it all, but each of us still has a part that we’re called to.
The great plague of humanity is self-centeredness. Somehow we’ve managed to make even Christianity all about us, as though God exists simply to make us happy and to fulfill our desires. Love, the antithesis of self-centeredness, is not only a primary theme of Christianity, it is the foundation of our relationship with Him. But it’s not just about His love for us! When we truly grasp the depth of His amazing love, we can’t help but love Him in return.
What does God like? If we truly love Him, we really will want to know and to see His desires fulfilled!