If you've read Pippy Love for any length of time you probably already know that I do not have a green thumb. I have been known to write laments about my lack of gardening prowess and have marveled at the very few plants I have managed to keep alive for more than a week. As my garden stands today it consists of a dead tomato plant, a baby fern purchased three days ago (give it three more and check back on its status) and the hardiest basil plant known to man which has survived an astounding two months in a small porcelain container on the kitchen windowsill. I water it from both the top and the bottom by filling the container with a shallow puddle of water every few days (read: when I think of it). Amazingly the basil plant has survived. Unfortunately every other plant has met its fate with the trash.
Despite repeated planting failures I still hold out hope for my gardening future. I tell myself that someday, when I'm older and wiser, I will miraculously become infinitely more garden savvy. My thumb will change colors.
In the spirit of enduring hope that springs eternal every now and again I do some online reading on gardening tips. Due to this sporatic studying, somewhere in my mind there is categorized a random assortment of good advice for horticulture success. To date I have yet to put any of this information to good use. Maybe, somday it will take root someday...maybe.
My latest reading on the art of gardening led me to a new tid-bit of gardening information I had never before stumbled upon. The gardener's secret to success is in soaking the seeds prior to planting. According to the gardening authorities, this practice will help the seeds absorb more moisture once planted. Experts call it a jump start for seedlings. In other words, pre-soaked seeds are more likely to be overachievers once planted.
The best gardeners make this one simple act part of their planting routine. Large seeds are soaked longer than small. Hot water is used, not cold. The whole process is amazingly simple. All it takes is a shallow container, a thin puddle of water and a packet of seeds. That's it. The seeds soak overnight and the next day the gardener removes them from the water and plants them in soil.
By pre-soaking little seedlings the future of the plant is by no means guaranteed. The work of the gardener doesn't end at at the pre-soak. She still needs a green thumb, dedication and Miracle Grow. But the pre-soaking sets the her, and her seeds, up for long term success. One night in a puddle of water translates to hardier, healthier plants with a far greater probability of being vibrant and lush flowers in the future.
I love the idea of the pre-soaked seeds so much I want to put it into practice. Thankfully I don't need a packet of seeds to start putting the gardener's secret to work. I have a spiritual garden in need of some tending, pruning and precious time of pre-soaking.
The soaking stage for the spiritual garden isn't top secret but it is an often overlooked tip of the successful spiritual gardener. The heart most dedicated to Christ, most attune to the voice of God is the heart that has been soaked in the spirit. Before the Christ-follower produces a single sprout, before the child of God is even planted in the ground, they must be soaked in the Spirit of God and filled up with the righteousness of Christ. It is the pre-soaking that sets the Christian up for success of the soul. The heart is given the ultimate head start by being drenched in holiness and plumped up by the overwhelming fountains of God's goodness.
Gardening in the physical dirt is a beautiful picture of the work God is doing in the human heart. Pre-soaking is part of that picture. It is a vital step in the long-term development and health of the Christian life that, if neglected, will prove to stunt growth. We must first soak in the Word and Spirit of God before trying to sprout with holiness. The soul has to be plumped up by the spirit. Planting can come tomorrow, or the next day if God so directs, but soaking must come first. It is a critical and vital step that, once skipped, cannot be repeated.
Have I soaked my spiritual seeds or am I trying to get in the dirt before doing my time in the spiritual waters of God? If I try to by-pass the container and go straight to the soil I will never grow as lush as God intended. He wants me to be pre-soaked. He has the container ready. The next steps of planting, watering and sprouting will come. Someday a lush crop and abundant fruit will come forth but only after I soak but only after I spend time drenched in the Holy Spirit, God will bring forth a Holy harvest.