When I was a little girl, I loved my mother’s garden. All through the summer, she grew all sorts of vegetables – carrots, radishes, cauliflower and green peppers. I remember one year she planted something new – pumpkins! I was so excited at the thought of growing our own pumpkins to pick and carve for the fall. We planted the seeds and I patiently waited while the vine slowly spread across the garden bed. Finally we saw blossoms, and tiny green pumpkins soon followed. Sadly, most of them didn’t make it; the victim of garden bugs. But one pumpkin was perfect. It was orange and round and grew bigger by the day.
At last, around October 25th, the day came when it was time to pick the long awaited pumpkin. I went out the garden patch and – Oh the horror! – my prize pumpkin looked like a deflated orange balloon!! In disbelief, I picked it up to examine it – and what did I discover beneath it? A large gopher hole.
While I was faithfully watering my pumpkin and checking on all the external clues about its health and well-being, I was unaware of a hidden threat: the underground schemes of several hungry and unwelcome gophers. The real story in the life of that garden turned out to be very different from the reality of what I observed on the surface. What was really going on underground was gopher city – an extensive tunnel system of a whole family of gophers.
This hidden “gopher world” reminds me of a profound truth in each of our lives. The person that I really am is who I am in the hidden person of my heart, the one only God sees…and the hidden reality is the true reality.
“…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
This truth calls me to the highest of standards: integrity before God. It calls me to remember that His perspective and estimation of my life is the true one.
A few questions to ask ourselves:
- What is really going on in the quiet meditations of my heart and what is coming out when I speak? Am I thinking about God, His love and His ways? Am I honoring people, especially those closest to me? ….or is there pride or jealousy or bitterness in my heart that no one knows about but me? May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. – Psalm 19:14
- What is going on when no one sees? Am I loving and serving my family well in the privacy of our home? Am I spending time still before God, praying to Him, reading His Word and attentive to what He is teaching me? Am I honest with him, confessing sin and asking Him to show me my heart? …or am I busy and neglectful, filling my heart and mind with shallow and temporal things – things that won’t last? “ Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” – Hebrews 4:13
- What am I doing with my spare moments? Am I renewing my mind in God’s truth every day? Am I serving people in need…and teaching our family to serve? Am I using my time well, focused on honoring God, staying healthy – spiritually, physically and emotionally – so I am ready to bless others? “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16
Just as the fate of my pumpkin was doomed by the hidden reality of destructive forces under ground, the hidden realities of our lives will eventually find their way to the surface. Have you considered lately, what is going on in your hidden person?
As we consider the eyes of God, searching for integrity and sincerity in our lives, may each of us humble ourselves in the deepest places of our hearts and minds. May we earnestly desire to please Him in every way. (Col. 1:10) May that beautiful hidden reality be what nourishes and sustains our most precious priorities and refines the motivations of our hearts. Only then, will the fruit of our lives (like maybe a big fat pumpkin!), be healthy and lasting. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last…” – John 15:16 Fruit that will last forever…now, that’s a harvest to look forward to!
What are you filling your heart and mind with each day? Is it helping your walk with God and the growth of good and lasting fruit in your life?
Have you let something creep in that will eventually destroy the good fruit that is growing in the garden of your life? Maybe it’s time to dig up the dirt and set some things in order.