“Can we start right now?” asked Tim. “I know I can do a great job, and my corn will be delicious.”
Mr. Miller laughed as he brushed the dirt off his hands. “I’m sure you will do a good job, but before we start to plant anything, Timmy, we have to prepare the soil.”
“I thought you said our dirt was good and anything can grow in it,” said Tim, swatting at a fly that lit on his arm.
“It is, Son, but we need to break up the clumps. During last summer and then with the winter rains, the dirt got lumpy,” said his dad.
Tim thought a moment and then said, “Oh, I remember. Every summer you and Mom dig up the garden with the shovels and then chop up the clumps, right?”
“That’s right, Son. Then we rake it until the dirt is crumbly and free from weeds.” His dad started walking toward the garage just as Mrs. Miller came out holding a funny looking shovel. “Is this what you were looking for, dear?” she said.
“Thanks, Hon,” said Mr. Miller as he took the short-handled shovel from his wife.
“Timmy, I’ve sawed down the handle of this shovel so this is your tool,” handing it to him. “Now, let’s get to work. The three Miller’s walked over to the garden area, each carrying their own shovel.
“This is one of the most important parts of planting a garden,” said Tim’s mom. “If the ground is full of weeds or the lumps aren’t smoothed out, the seeds struggle to grow.”
His dad nodded in agreement. “Remember, I explained how our hearts are like gardens where God plants the seeds of His Word?” he said.
Tim nodded. “Yeah! I remember. It’s pretty cool to know that when I read my Bible the Lord’s seeds are going into my heart.”
They stopped at the edge of the large garden plot, and Tim started to push his shovel into the dark earth. His mom laughed. “Good for you, Tim. I like your enthusiasm, but let your father show you how to get the job done right,” said his mom.
Mr. Miller scooped up the dirt, rotated the shovel, and flipped the clump upside down on the ground. He chopped at the newly turned earth. “See how easily the dirt breaks apart and loosens the weeds?” said his dad. Tim squatted down and helped his dad pull out some blades of grass and straggly weeds.
Timmy’s mom leaned over to watch. “Sometimes our hearts have lumps that stop the seeds of the Bible from growing,” she said. “The Lord has to break up the soil of our hearts so His words will grow, and we will be able to obey Jesus”
“I wonder what lumps I have in my heart dirt,” said Tim.
Tim’s dad turned another shovel of dirt over and started pulling the weeds. “Well, lumps in our hearts can be when we don’t read the Bible or pray, which makes it harder for God’s words to grow in our hearts.”
Mrs. Miller nodded her head. “Yes, Timmy, that’s right. When God’s words don’t grow in our hearts, then weeds start to grow,” she said. “A weed in the garden is like a sin in our hearts.”
“Oh yeah! Like last winter when I watched cartoons instead of doing my Sunday School lesson,” said Timmy. “Then I lied about it and told you I had finished it.”
His mom ruffled his hair. “That’s right, Honey. When you came and apologized to us and asked the Lord to forgive you, that is how God pulls the weed out,” said his mom.
“Wow! I’ll be more careful about getting weeds in my heart’s garden,” said Tim.