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
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)
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.
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