Sanctification is that process of working out our salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who works in us. In these days of ‘lockdown’ there are those, myself included, who have taken the opportunity of reduced schedules that have been imposed upon us to be involved in a bit of gardening (well at least on my part cutting the grass) and all the many other tasks gardening entails. Many following the ‘work’ given to Adam and Eve before the fall (Gen 2v15). As with all aspects of creation even the plant life points us to the Creator (indeed a witness that is to be perfected again in the future, Isaiah 55v12-13). The garden and plant life can picture to us many important truths. As I look at a untidy garden an activity that is on my mind is that of weeding (perhaps next week!). The weeding process reminds us of the presence of thorns and weeds and toil that the fall and sin brought into this world, it reminds us that this world is not as it once was, nor as it should be, or one day will be remade into. However, it also challenges me that even as we use this ‘free’ time to tend the physical garden that we should also use this appointed time to look after and to tend a more important garden; the garden of our souls. To survey the garden of our lives, to look for the pockets of weeds, of sin, and with God’s help, to root them out. Due to our nature (and certainly in the gardening realm my inability at times to tell weed from flower) we need to use the word of God to show us the many and varied weeds that can subtly grow, unchecked, and even admired in our lives. But not only do we need to remove what is invasive, and that which chokes other life, stealing nutrient and energy that could be better used, we need to tend the flowers and the plants, water them, feed them, plant new seeds, that they might produce beauty in our lives and fruit for the good of others. While there are many different types of weeds (sins) there is only one solution that can deal with them and it is the blood of Jesus, to place them in confession and repentance under the blood. There is much work to be done, and to be doing, both in the garden of our lives and in the field of the world. Take this time, these days God has appointed, and make it a sanctifying time in our lives. A time of tending to our souls, a spiritual spring clean. Praying for wisdom and insight from God, to reveal things to us that we ought to confess and dig up. For Him to show us other things that are withered and need to be nourished. Prepare the ground with the plough of prayer, plant the good seed, apply the water of the Word, pull up the weeds and burn them, so that we might have fruitful lives for God’s glory.