Sunday, July 17, 2011

Salvation seedlings

My husband loves to grow a garden. He grew up on a farm, so gardening comes natural to him. When we were first married I took it upon myself to surprise him by putting out the garden. He was off at work and I just thought, "It will make his day when he sees this." I had no idea of gardening. I purchased all the plants I knew he wanted to put out. I got the soil ready to go and started planting. Now, may I remind you, I have no idea what I am doing. You know, as you make the rows they are suppose to all be one way and well, there is just a way to plant and a way to place everything perfectly.

As my husband came home he took one look at the garden and didn't say a word. There was just this huge grin covering his face. He was excited to see that I tried. I put a lot of work into that garden. Lots of sweat and this girl hates to sweat more than anything. I planted everything the way I thought it should look. I didn't make straight rows and I didn't plant every same plant in each row. I made that garden pretty! Yes, that's right, you heard me. I put peppers next to tomatoes and flowers next to pickles. I looked like a garden maze. lol

Needless to say, my husband moved things around and placed them in order. As I watched him, he showed me how to plant a garden. Now, even though I like things to look a certain way, I know there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

A garden takes time. You dig up that soil. You get the fertilizer in the dirt. You plant the seed. You water those little seeds and you sit back and pray. Sometimes you have a great garden that year. Everything seems to come in at once and you can begin to can all of your work, saving it for the fall and winter to place upon your table.

A garden needs the right sun light, the right amount of water and it will not grow without oxygen. It's just that simple. Without those things your garden will surely die. You too must hoe your garden removing all those weeds. If the weeds begin to grow they can choke a plant and it will not survive. Now, if you are a farmer and have a big field, well you know each year you rotate your crops. One year you plant one thing and you switch it up the next year. That makes the soil more fertile and ready for that next year.

If you were to speak to my father-in-law he would very wisely share with you that there is a perfect day and time to plant everything. He plants by the Almanac. There is a time to plant in the summer and in the fall. In the spring everything is being rejuvenated and in the winter all is at rest. Of course we too know that in the fall there is time for harvesting. A season for all.

Just what if we looked at life the same way? We work so hard at planting seeds. We are an impatient people. We want those seeds to flower and sprout new growth right then. Some plants take longer to grow. Each and every one go through their own process. We can't hurry them along. I am known to kill a plant with love very quickly. I love them to death. Yes, I pass by and think, "I better water that plant." Not long after, that poor plant has died of root rot.

We must plant and pray. We need to allow God to do the weed eating and tilling. That hoe belongs in His hand not ours. We must trust Him with the watering too. He knows just what that little seed needs to become mature. What are we to do? We are to ready the harvest. We are to plant the seeds and trust God with the crop. He too knows which weeds need removed and which plants need pruned in order to grow more and produce more fruit/vegetables.

I have heard farmers say they put their blood and sweat into the fields and hope for the best. We too must hope for the best. Everything doesn't turn a profit that year. Sometimes it takes many years for that crop to produce. You have dry years and years where the rains come and seem to flood out all hope. We are surrounded by farmers. The farms around us are grown by families who have pastured their land down through many generations. I'm sure if you ask them they would tell you they are now reaping the benefits of those who have come before them and worked so hard to care for the land.

So, like my first garden, I learned it's okay if it's not perfect. It's okay that it needed extra attention. The point is, I tried. I planted those seeds with a smile on my face in hopes of a great harvest. We get so caught up in fear of turning one away or offending another if we witness to them. When we feel the Spirit move that is the time to plant those seeds. God will take care of the rest. All we must do is plant, plant and plant. Just think of the hope that each seed carries. We might see some seeds that lay dormant for a while. Just because we are not witnessing anything happening doesn't mean that they are not going through the process of growth.

We must take care in that we don't over water a seed. Everything in moderation. Timing is everything. God's timing is perfect. As He is moving us to plant, He is willing and readying that seed for growth. Friends, don't lose heart when you share Christ with friends and family and you see nothing happening. God is still at work. It is our job to continue praying. A garden is not easy. It is hard work and it is continual work. God breathes life into those seeds we plant. All He needs is us to be willing to put in the hours in the garden. I have seen my husband in the garden on his knees as he plants those seeds. As we plant the seed of Salvation into the hearts of friends, neighbors, and family, we too should be spending time on our knees. It's amazing what just a little Son light will do.

"And He said, 'The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: First the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.'" Mark 4:26-29
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