I am not a gardener. I have high hopes and aspirations to one day be a gardener, but as of yet, this dream of mine hasn’t become a reality. I remember as a little girl, my grandmother would plant the most beautiful flower beds. She had a knack for taking hard ground and turning it into something perfect for growing things in. We had a patch of land next to our home that was hard and trampled on from playing over the years. One summer, my grandmother came over and spent the day helping my mom break up that hard ground to create a soft bed of fertile soil. As the weeks progressed, we watched as beautiful and colorful flowers sprouted up from beneath the earth.

The Lord has been showing me lately that there are places in my heart that are like that hard, unbroken soil. Over the years, I had let heartache and pain turn places of my heart into callous and hard soil. In His most loving and gentle way, as I began to surrender my heart to Him, the Holy Spirit began to break up the hard places of my heart so that I could allow His Word and truth to sink in. In Hosea 10:12, the Lord speaks to His people about this. He says, “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes and showers righteousness on you.”

The trials of life can cause us to doubt the unfailing love of the Lord. But He longs for us to reap the fruit of His unfailing love. As we allow the Holy Spirit to come in and break up our unplowed ground, the Lord will deposit His seeds of unfailing love. His love will go deep in our hearts and root out the things we’ve let harden us, things like unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, hurt, resentment and anger. Breaking up of unplowed ground is not always an easy thing to go through. Just like pruning, there is some measure of discomfort, but the discomfort is always for our good. God never allows what He does not use for our good. His end goal is that we be conformed to His likeness.

As you allow the Holy Spirit to break up the unplowed ground, watch for the garden to grow. He will accomplish in His strength what you have been longing for so long. His love, joy and peace will grow like ivy and the hard places will become a garden of His beauty and goodness.