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Gardening requires a great deal of learning. Here’s a list of some of the resources that impart knowledge to my gardening portfolio.

Books

Garden Books

These vary from the “Ahh!” of the glossy compilation of perfect pictures of even more perfect gardens to the encyclopedia style of tips and techniques. My book collection has spread to a second shelf but cannot yet be classified as invasive.

Websites

Garden Bookmarks

Web writers have an advantage over authors of hardcopy materials in that cyber words can be updated as required. The sheer volume of responses to a search request like “growing hostas” can overwhelm so bookmark favorites and organize those bookmarks. This snip from my desktop shows my gardening bookmark categories which helps if I need to return to a site I previously visited.

Garden shop experts

Nothing better than finding that man or woman who can explain what grows and how to grow it. Their home gardening habits morphed into employment, and sharing their knowledge with another gardener becomes a passion.

Local extension offices

Most extension offices provide a wealth of information from publications and helpful master gardeners.

Why seek wisdom in the garden?

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Wisdom, the practical application of knowledge, increases our chances of success. We avoid mistakes and implement the sound advice of others rather than reinvent the wheel. Gardening with a clue brings a sense of accomplishment.  This season I started Coleus from seed. I’ve tended the plants in the shop during the winter months, and now the plants are in the garden for all to enjoy. Did you know that the seeds of Coleus should be left on top the soil, not covered, for best germination results? I learned that tidbit from research.

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Now let’s pull back from the garden and get the bigger picture. We need wisdom in life. Wise is the man or woman who recognizes that fact and begins a quest to obtain it. Followers of Jesus Christ have ready access to wisdom.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NASB

That sounds like a promise, a promise from God recorded in His Word. Yet so many believers mired in trials battle discouragement. They asked God for wisdom, and nothing seemed to happen. Discouragement morphs into disillusionment, and some walk away from the faith.

In our adversity, when we ask God for wisdom, we are often seeking the “why” of the trial. Last summer after a long battle with cancer we moved Mom to the hospice house for a greater degree of care.  The experience left me hollow, sleepless, dare I say devastated? I had no more options, nothing I could do. Why, God? Help me understand. Share Your wisdom and Your insight that I might make sense of this.

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The very next day word arrived that our unborn grandson had major heart defects.  We were told he may require surgery at his birth, or he may be able to postpone it for a few months. But at some point that little guy will have to have his heart repaired. Why, God? Help me understand. Share Your wisdom and Your insight that I might make sense of this.

Would not one of these trials be enough for any family at one time?  What was God thinking? How does this adversity fit into His plan?  How will these events work out for good? I had questions, I sought wisdom from God.

God did not lay out the answers, and I kept bumping into these verses:

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB

God often does not give specifics or place the complete picture before us. We, like Isaiah, have to move forward in confidence into the unknown. But we can know that God does have a plan, and He is working that plan.

O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. Isaiah 25:1 NASB

Only God knows the “why”.  That is not the wisdom He offers me. God offers to help me with the “how”.

How do I put one foot in front of the other and take the next step?

How do I bring honor to His name as the waves of turmoil threaten the swamp my boat?

How do I make the next decision knowing that my choice will impact subsequent decisions?

How do I wait patiently for God’s plan to unfold when I’m overwhelmed with uncertainty?

How do I squelch the sense that God has abandoned me so I now must pilot my own course?

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I faced a real struggle last summer. And the battle continues. In the absence of detailed information from God I want to grab the wheel and steer for myself rather than wait for Him to direct the next steps.

Solomon penned these words…

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10 NASB

I can’t arrive at wisdom until I begin with an awareness of God’s majesty.

 – God knows more than I do.

 – He is in a class all by Himself. No peers. No equals.

 – He is God, the only God.

– He is the Creator.

– He’s working His purpose in and through humanity.

– He loves by His very nature.

– He has adopted me and I am every bit His child as Jesus is His child.

His choices for my life are always designed to bring about good. I need to know that sometimes the benefit of adversity is to another life through my life. God often allows an experience for me that I can later use to comfort another facing the same challenge (See 2 Corinthians1:3-5).

Before I come to God with a request for wisdom perhaps I need to remind myself that only He knows the “why”.  Through His grace and mercy He is willing to lead me in the “how”.

If I am willing to accept that wisdom of the “how” is all I need and trust Him.