The Heavenly Gardener

(James Meikle, "Converse with the Unseen World")

The wisdom of the gardener is seen in the cultivation of
his plants; some he sets in the sun, others in the shade;
some in a rich, fertile soil, others in a dry and barren
ground; and thus the gardener's skill is conspicuous,
for each thrives best in its own soil. Then, since Infinite
Wisdom has allotted a great part of my life to sorrow and
solitude (not that I complain)—I realize that I could not
grow well in another soil.

Behind the high wall of adversity, and in the shade of
affliction, the saints will bring forth fruits of humility,
self-denial, resignation and patience. These graces
cannot grow so well in the sun-beams of prosperity.

Now, if another soil would be more agreeable to my
spiritual growth—the Heavenly Gardener would
soon transplant me there.

It does not matter, though I grow in the shade—if the
Sun of righteousness shines on my soul, and makes
every grace to flourish. He knows better what lot is
best for me, than I do myself. In choosing it for me,
I should rather admire His wisdom, than complain of
His conduct; the more so, when I consider that on a
barren soil, and in a lonely shade—He can cultivate
plants that shall bask in the eternal beams of glory!