My Garden

Lay Servant Ministries


In 2013, Laurel and I moved into our current house in town. Previously, we had lived out in the country on 15 acres, where we had trouble growing trees, let alone a garden. It was on a hill top with a lot of rocks. So when we moved into town we inherited a well-established garden plot. The first year we had a lot going on, so I bought a couple of tomato plants so we would have fresh tomatoes for sandwiches and salads. It produced only a few tomatoes, as I did not cultivate the garden enough to keep the weeds and grass away from the plants and did not water during the heat of the summer.

That fall, I plowed the whole plot, putting all the old growth in the ground. That next spring, when the rains came, I tilled and created a nice seed bed. I planted a wide variety of crops from sweet corn to radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and much more. With continued care, mulching, fertilizing and watering when needed, it produce a crop of abundance. This is a living picture of Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13 of the sower of the seed.

Every year as I worked my garden I wanted to be like the one plant in good soil. Not to be burned up by the sun or the many temptations of life, or be choked by weeds with the many pressures that can be on you from the world. I wanted to be grounded in the Bible with the faith of God being with me at all times from the greatness of the soil of the earth.

My garden showed me God's love and faith in so many other ways. With all the rich smells and bright colors only the God the maker of heaven and earth could provide. In the morning, watering the plants and weeding in the calmness of the air, you can feel the present of Lord. It  takes me back to my childhood in late July or early August, walking the crops in the evening with my Granddad and Dad, pulling stray weeds, but mostly listen to them talk. They would talk about the crops, but also sports, and what was happening in the world. It was not hurried or loud, but a quiet conversation at sunset. Now that is my time in the garden to be quiet, listening to the active talking with my Dad and Granddad and God.

--Bob Riggin, Flint Hills District Director of Lay Servant Ministries