Ever read the book about Peter Rabbit? That mischievous bunny just couldn’t resist the lure of Mr. McGregor’s garden. Lettuce, carrots, beans, radishes. A feast worth crawling under a gate for. All until he got chased around by an angry gardener with a rake.
Part of gardening involves putting up some type of barrier to protect the plants from outside invaders – ranging from children’s (and dog’s) trampling feet to deer to birds to insects. According to an expert from Skilled Fencing, it is wise for gardeners to put up fences and curve the bottom of the fence 90 degrees to create an apron a foot or so wide, and bury it several inches deep to prevent rabbits from digging underneath. They may choose to thwart the bad bugs with insecticides, friendly bugs, or by planting hairy vetch beside the potatoes. (Something my dad told me about last week.)
But what about my life? How do I guard my heart against the invaders of worry and fear? Do I let the insects of doubt eat away at my faith? Or do I erect a wall of truth? Cover myself with hope? Grow patience and gentleness and joy?
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in the book of Philippians. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7 NKJV)
Did you see that word buried in there? Guard. As in being kept by a garrison. Surrounded by a moat. Hidden away inside an army fortress. Protected.
What about you? What tries to invade your life and steal your fruitfulness? What is guarding your heart and mind? How do you know?