by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta
After two years away from home, I was anxious to get my hands in the dirt again and plant flowers and vegetables. I was probably overly anxious because I started a little too early while the weather was still cool and my efforts were fruitless. The air was still too cold even for some cool weather crops.
But I did start some seeds indoors in February. I ordered a heat mat and grow lamp to incubate my tomato and pepper babies. Like a nurse in a NICU unit, I supervised nature’s infants day and night.
Rising temperatures allowed me to transplant these three month old babies outside. My husband put up a portable greenhouse for me and this became the new home for my plants.
|My peppers and tomatoes|
They now grow in fabric pots under a plastic roof and this is one proud plant mama. I look at these tomato and pepper plants that have now grown to the adult stage and realize the magnificence of creation.
One tiny seed formed each of these huge stalks that will also produce offspring.
The Kingdom of God
The people in biblical days lived in an agricultural society. That’s why so many of Jesus’ teachings centered around planting and harvesting. Those who listened could identify with what He said and apply the words to their lives.
In the Parable of the Sower Jesus used examples of four kinds of seeds. The one that produced an abundant harvest is the one that was planted in fertile soil, watered, and cared for.
He showed us that our hearts must be like fertile soil to receive the Word of God. When we ingest just a tiny grain from the Spirit of our Creator this embryo can take root and grow into a towering tree.
I look at my plants now and remember the tiny beginnings that I cradled in dirt hoping I would receive a reward for my work. How can something as small as a pinhead develop into a plant several feet tall and then propagate fruit?
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. (Matthew 13:31 NKJV)
What do we do if we feel our lives aren’t changing?
Don’t try to do things our own way. We can’t change ourselves. When I tried to plant before the weather was favorable I found out I tried to force an outcome that didn’t work. Jesus likened our changing process to the smallest of nature’s kernels. We start out in tiny increments. Our minds can’t take in the magnitude of God’s power all at once. We may feel as if nothing is happening in our lives. Maybe nothing changes right away. But like the seeds within the soil, roots are growing.
Follow the directions. I resorted to a heat mat and lamp to start seeds indoors. I read the instructions for timing and temperature. I looked at my cups of dirt day after day and they always looked the same. But I kept misting them and made sure the light was on the required number of hours. Then one day, wow, I saw green. Was I ever excited!
Reading the Word and praying is what nurtures the nucleus of Scripture in the soil of our souls.
Continue to feed. Once I saw little stems emerge I still needed to nourish them or they wouldn’t grow. We need to be faithful to continue to feed no matter what we feel like or what our outcome appears to be. The Lord’s power is contained in those living words and will give us results as long as we sustain what we hear with prayer and continued Bible study.
The kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21), and one day what is sown in our hearts will grow as large as the mustard tree does in the ground. We will then have fruit to feed others with like the mustard tree gives of its life to house the birds.
But the seed on good soil stands for those with an honest and good heart. Those people hear the message. They keep it in their hearts. They remain faithful and produce a good crop. (Luke 8:15 NIRV)
Christ’s identity is in those Word nuggets that we plant in our hearts. A seed that isn’t planted can’t grow. The fruit of the Spirit will bloom with an orchard full of heart food when we are faithful to tend our garden.
Join the conversation and share your thoughts.
What to do when we feel our lives aren’t changing (click to tweet)
Amen! I could so relate to everything you shared Ms. Barbara. We can't change ourselves, just like we can't expect crops to germinate, grow, and produce without the right ingredients and timing. I so loved your analogy ma'am. Back to "changing ourselves" though; my thoughts focused on how I can't make those changes, but I have to surrender myself to God so that His Holy Spirit can make the changes and provide the nourishment I need to achieve the growth He wants for me. What a powerful example you provided ma'am. Thank you so much! Now, how do we deal with those "weeds" that will inevitably crop up? :-)ReplyDelete
You nailed the answer. J.D. We surrender to God and allow the Holy Spirit to produce the growth and change. Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring thoughts. Blessings!Delete
Lovely post! There is much joy to be found in gardening as well as lessons to be learned. Gardening work one of those times when I feel closest to God. That should come as no surprise as gardening was the first job given to man.ReplyDelete
We don't give up. If we keep hoping and hiding God's wisdom in our heart then we will reap a bountiful harvest.
I do love gardening too, Candyce. I don't like pulling weeds but that work does relieve some stress. I like your point that gardening was the first job God gave to man. The Lord God started with seeds and expected Adam to tend and produce. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete
These are good lessons from your planting experiences.. Thank you, Barbara, and may all your plants bear much good fruit!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kathy. I hope they do continue to bear fruit and I know they will teach me more lessons. Blessings!Delete
I'm so proud of you! Growing plants from seed takes persistence and a lot of tender-loving-care. You did good! I love the lessons God gifts us from nature and you've beautifully described how much we learn from growing things. Soon you'll enjoy the fruits of your labor. Those tomatoes will taste extra good! Wishing you a blessed week.ReplyDelete
Katherine, I always enjoy your nature pictures and posts. You have taught me much. I do look forward to eating tomatoes soon. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete
This is such a wonderful well-written analogy. I love the description of your nature babies. You pulled excellent spiritual points from your observations of nature. Thank you, Barbary!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing, Annie. Blessings!Delete
I love gardening but have not had the chance to do it in a while and all for the reasons you shared. God’s hands at work in everything fascinates me.ReplyDelete
I hope you can get back to gardening soon, Jennifer. It is fascinating how God's creation works. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete
I don’t have a green thumb. I do have one indoor plant that I received when our first daughter was born, 35 years ago. I care and nurture it. But if I forget, I soon notice it loosing leafs. So I can relate to your analogy in your message. Thanks BarbaraReplyDelete
Yvonne, if you have a plant from 35 years ago, I would say you are doing something right. That's amazing. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete