The Dying Garden

by | Jun 9, 1998 | Self-Worth

A story is told of a king who went into his garden one morning and found everything withering and dying. He asked an oak that stood near the gate what the trouble was. He found that it was sick of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine was out of all heart because it could not bear grapes like the vine. The vine was going to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and have as fine fruit as the pomegranate; and so on throughout the garden. Coming to a Johnny-jump-up, he found its bright face lifted as full of cheerfulness as ever. Said the king:

“Well, Johnny-jump-up, I am glad to find one brave little flower among this land of general discouragement and dying. You don’t seem one bit disheartened.”

“No, your Majesty. I know I am of small account, but I concluded you wanted a Johnny-jump-up when you planted me. If you had wanted an oak or a pine or a vine or a pomegranate, you would have set one out. So I am bound to be the best Johnny-jump-up that ever I can.”

To be such a “Johnny-jump-up” is a blessed thing for the Christian, and a saving power in the world. – Whispers of Peace

Source: Signs of the Times, July 31, 1884, Pacific Press. With permission from Dale Galusha <>


The Dying Garden