Epic Garden Battles // Easter 2021

With spring having sprung, gardening is a hot topic at our place. After last year’s bumper crop, and the very long winter that followed, the spouse is all-in on getting the food stuffs growing again. And while he obviously loves it, so much of his focus sounds like all-out war. Guarding against adorable vermin or undesirable pests, overgrowth or underwatering, he’s ready to protect this new plant life at all costs. And as the celebration of Easter approaches, I’m reminded of a few garden battles of biblical proportions.

Battle Lost
Genesis 2:8-9: “And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

The Bible starts out in a perfect garden. Just imagine: No weeds, no disruptive creatures, no drought or floods. Better yet, no issues even between people. Humans and the rest of God’s creation humming along harmoniously. But the story takes a turn with a sudden battle for control. Should we trust the one who first planted the garden and its tree of life, or ignore him in an effort to gain more? Caving to greed, the humans harvest from the wrong tree and lose it all—the garden, their trust in each other and their friendship with God. As overfertilization leads to plant death, the battle is lost. Sickness spreads. Thorn and thistle now dominate the landscape.

Battle Won
Isaiah 11:1-2: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him…”

As years of thorny battles wear on, one day a new shoot comes up. A baby grows to be a man, and that man turns out to be the ultimate gardener. He arrives to show us how to cultivate our relationships again. Expected by some, yet unrecognizable to others, he is ready to fight with his own blood, sweat and tears for his people in his garden, even as we decide to fight against him. In a garden called Gethsemane, he’s arrested. Despite no fault being found, he is prosecuted and placed on a wooden cross, sometimes referred to as a “tree.” Crowned with thorns on this tree of death he does not deserve, this man called Jesus dies...

While this looks like no victory, no one even imagined that 3 days later, life would emerge from a tomb. Even a woman finding the grave empty and seeing a man nearby thinks he's just the local gardener—until he calls her by name. But as a seed falls into the ground and dies to reproduce exponentially, Jesus died and rose to bring new life into the world. The garden battle is won! As the original gardener, he naturally knew what was needed to help it heal. And to each of us, He asks an old, familiar question: “Will you trust me to heal you too?”

Battle Done
Revelation 22:1-2: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

Much as it began, the Biblical story closes with a perfected future garden. We get a glimpse of renewal to come, of a world growing complete and healthy again, of harmony between God and people restored. The thorns have gone, and the tree of life we once rejected now heals us. For all who trust that ultimate gardener, the garden battles are done.

Anyone who gardens is positioned for a unique perspective on loss, triumph and restoration as you guard and nurture your own vegetation. Yet even if you lack a green thumb, every new bud and petal can call to mind these garden battles lost, won and done, even as we navigate the thorns of life that still remain. So as the flowers bloom this spring, I pray you do trust Jesus, the ultimate gardener, for the complete nurture and healing only he can bring.

Enjoy the greenery and happy Easter!


  1. Amen! I love to garden as well, and so great to know it’s part of our eternal and restored calling. Thank you for posting!

  2. Sarah, this is good. Thank you for sharing your(Spirt inspired) thoughts.


Thanks for reading, and for sharing your thoughts. Have a great day!