Toolbox #1: Planting a Garden

By Jamie Harms

Gardening initially intimidated me, for in college, I could not keep a houseplant alive. However in grad school, my grandma insisted that I was capable of gardening and told me she would help me. Thus, I started out on my gardening adventure with a little raised bed behind our row house in Baltimore. I talked to Grandma about types of plants, when to plant them, and how to take care of them. I sent her pictures of my garden as she lived 3,000 miles away, and she would regularly call to remind me to water or to fertilize or to tell me what kind of pests to look for. After my first season of gardening with my grandma’s help, I enjoyed fresh tomatoes, herbs, salad greens, and peppers as well as vases of cut hydrangea on my kitchen table because she walked with me through the full season of gardening. 

Bible study is in many ways like my experience of gardening. First, I had to be willing to try it and to take the first steps of buying plants and putting them in the ground. I had to take these steps even though I knew that all my plants might die, and I would get nothing out of the endeavor. But, if I did not take these steps, I would never have the opportunity for plants to bear fruit — or in this case, vegetables. I also could not do this gardening adventure alone. If my grandma hadn’t checked in with me after getting me started on the planting, my garden would not have been successful. Her regular phone calls — the time she spent with me — encouraged me and kept me going even when the adventure didn’t go as expected.

With Bible study, we also have to take the first steps to begin the adventure. We grab our Bibles — and in our case this season, the Jude study guide — and must be willing to plant the seeds of Scripture in our hearts with the hope of them bearing fruit. And we must remember, we do not walk this season alone. Just as my grandma was supporting me in my adventure, so we women walk with each other as we study Jude.

This study has many components and can be overwhelming. For instance, the book of Jude assumes we know some history from the Old Testament, and the study guide has lots of questions that we might not have all the answers to or be able to complete in a week. But walking together, we can encourage one another to keep going, to be in Jude as much as we can, and to ultimately cultivate the truth of God’s Word in our hearts.

Thus, will you, Ladies, be willing to go on this gardening adventure with me? Would you be willing to take the first steps to study Jude and to walk with me through this season in God’s Word, to watch the seeds of the Bible grow in our hearts and minds? Every Sunday, in conjunction with our time together on Thursdays, I’ll offer a post that will be like my regular conversations with my grandma. We will take a look at different tools we can use to study Scripture accurately and to apply God’s Word in our lives. In doing so, there is the hope of our study bearing much fruit as a growing knowledge of our God transforms our heart and hands to be more like Him.  

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